Our guest writer this week is Mr. Ninfaakang James from Ghana. It was great knowing James as a friend and as a student at Tasmac. James brought loads of enthusiasm, energy and professionalism in the class room. James hearty laugh had the entire class responding with more laughter and when he asked questions they were always insightful and the class listened with respect. James was very popular and participated in various extracurricular activities with boundless energy. We wish James and his family in Ghana very happy and peaceful times! Remember us and keep in touch always 🙂
Hello everybody I am NINFAAKANG JAMES Ghanaian MBA student who completed final SEMESTRE in Tasmac College and now in the final stages of the dissertation project. I am enjoying my stay in India and learning a lot. This is an article I have penned on my beautiful country Ghana and I’d like to share it with you.
Ghana is a country in the Western part of Africa. I work in the University for Development Studies in Ghana. This is the beginning of a proposed collaborative effort which should exist between countries of Africa and Asia. A lot can be learnt from this kind of collaboration, since as at now there is very little known and/or done between these two great continents. It is a brief situational analysis for which an investor, tourist, entrepreneur, explorer, and student can take advantage of.
Ghana as country:
Ghana as compared to India is a very small country land and population wise. In Agriculture, it is second to Cote D’Ivoire in the production of Cocoa in the world. In minerals it is second to South Africa in gold reserves in Africa. As the equator runs through it, weather and climatic conditions are average in nature. Thus there is hardly any kind of harsh weather conditions
such as extreme cold; heat and humidity sometimes, but bearable and even depending which part of the country and which season. Being a coastal country, the sea provides a lot of lovely beaches for the holiday maker. In sports, football comes next to none as a passion, as exemplified in the last FIFA world cup in South Africa, where Ghana came to the 1/8 stage as the only African country.
There are 10 geographical regions within the country and the political atmosphere is very stable compared to neighboring countries such as Cote D’ivoire, Liberia, Togo etc. Despite several ethnic groupings and languages/dialects, a multiparty democratic system which came in place about 16 years ago is highly successful, again as compared to other African
countries. Community life is a common value in Africa, and Ghana is no exception. It should not come as a surprise to experience a great degree of acceptance and friendliness among the communities for the foreigner (no matter who), in any part of Ghana. On the overall average the country is one of the few in Africa or even the world worth exploring.
For the investor
Of recent Ghana has discovered oil in large commercial quantities. Until now, Nigeria was about the only West African country to be exporting crude oil. Should we go by the discovery analysis which says the oil basin is downward sloping from the Nigerian side it means a matter of time for Nigeria to lose all its oil to Ghana, once Ghana starts drilling and exporting in commercial quantities. This has not begun yet, but sooner rather than later it should begin.
The main minerals include gold, diamond, bauxite, aluminum in their order of major deposits and importance. Gold comes first and the biggest gold mine in Ghana (the Obuasi Gold mines), has of recent merged with a South African goldmine to form the AngloGold mines, about one of the biggest in the world. There are also isolated cases of deposits all over the country resulting in what is referred to as surface mining in these areas.
On agric as already mentioned, cocoa leads as the major export crop, but there is coffee, palm, cola, cashew, shea nut, dawadawa etc, with a huge potential but as of now untapped. Most of the agric activities are on the subsistence level to cater for the basic foodstuff of the
rural communities. Land space is huge, and varied (from coastal in the sea areas, to forests in the middle zone, through to savannah in the northern peripheries). Were it (land), to be used judiciously there would be no need to import some basic food items which unfortunately is what is happening presently.
There is a lot of demand in this area. Tertiary institutions such as Universities, polytechnics, colleges etc are short of the
required number to cater for the high school graduates. Of late some private institutions are springing up, the backlog on the student side is still enormous. Coming nearer home I throw light on the University for Development Studies (U.D.S), my present employer.
This institution is one of the most recent public Universities established in the Northern part of Ghana. It has 3 campuses with a student population of over 10,000. Disciplines include medicine, applied sciences, integrated development studies, planning and land management, law and business and some diplomas. It has chalked some successes since its establishment but also some challenges alongside. Major success is turning out graduates in the past years for the manpower needs of the country.
Being a small country travel by road is the most common. The road network has seen some improvement over the years with at least second to first class roads linking the ten regional capitals. Travel by train is almost nearly absent and internal air and water travel do exist but very minimal. IT connectivity apart from international travels is absent. I mean for instance booking tickets for buses, trains etc on the net.
For the tourist
Sites worth exploring for the tourist
There are very interesting areas to explore for our friend the tourist here. This will include historical sites, land marks,
castles and shrines, slave trade routes, some cultural monuments,
to mention a few. As mentioned earlier the equator runs through Ghana, and there is a site to this effect. This is a rock situated in the coastal city of Tema and referred to as the Greenwich meridian rock. This is a great tourist attraction.
Castles and slave routes
One area of interest here would be the castles and the slave trade routes. Asia has been spared this awesome ogre of selling human beings off to the Europes and Americas between the 17th to 19thcentury as slaves for the farms and early industries of these countries. Over the years the resistance level of the African has dropped considerably due to change of habits.
However it is not uncommon to see some specimens of a true African built. Just try the coastal areas of Ghana where a fisherman is going to tower over you with triceps/biceps the size of a football, and when opening his mouth for a welcome speech, you would want to escape for the feeling of thunder around you. Or the northern parts to meet a farmer. One polite handshake and you are likely to be looking around for some smoothening ointment for the damage to your smooth palms.
Quite frankly the country owe a lot to these African folks of earlier years for their present state of development.
Bye and God Bless from James!