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Kumasi, Ghana, Africa

Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:15 pm

I just found out earlier today that I will be moving to Kumasi, Ghana the first week of January 2009. I will be interning with a development organization that teaches IT skills to small business owners/entrepreneurs so they can improve the productivity and management of their businesses. Has anyone ever been to Kumasi or anywhere else in Ghana? How was it? Any interesting tips you can give to someone heading there on either the culture or things to see and do?

I have been pricing flights and so far it looks like BA is the best option: Toronto>Heathrow>Ghana. The website says I can do it return for just over $2000 CAD. However, I am open to suggestions of anyone knows a cheaper route.

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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RE: Kumasi, Ghana, Africa

Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:27 pm

Interesting career move to an interesting locale! If this is your first time living outside Canada it's gonna be bloody interesting for you. Ghana is not for impatient.

First up you need to understand that Ghana is not quite the gem that so many in the west have been led to believe that it is. By virtue of being the only true British stronghold in West Africa the Brits made it out to be a shining example for the region and Africa at large. Well the immediate neighbors didn't set that bar very high...  Wink Ghana is leaps and bounds ahead of a number of countries on the continent but in terms of corruption (ask any expat in Accra who owns the house they rent Smile ), pace of work, transparency and a number of other indicators it leaves a LOT to be desired.

Ghana is a land of smooth talkers; everybody is your "brother" or your "friend" but be careful there is a certain sinister element around the place. A quick example, my father's car was stolen and a certain rather cheeky local businessman tried to sell it back to him at a special price because my dad was his "friend" - amazing stuff like this happens every day. No doubt when you get there you will be regaled with such stories by Ghanaians and expats alike.

There are some interesting places to see in the country, the Cape Coast in particular to get a bit of the tourist taste as well as a peek into Ghana's sad history.

There is a Canadian sports bar in Accra, the name escapes me right now but I will try remember it. It's close to the Golden Tulip hotel...I watched Mario Lemieux's last comeback game there a few years ago, it was weird as hell.

One thing I really enjoyed in Ghana was the plane spotting. My parents house was in the East Cantonments very close to Kotoka so I got to see a lot of stuff up close.

In terms of getting there I from Canada I always flew KL (back then it was YMX-AMS-ACC) because it was cheaper and I got to avoid LHR T3 in the mornings!

If you have any specific questions fire away.


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