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Ghana, August 13, 2009

Voices of Africa Online in Accra

Ghana bloggers by day
Literary drinkers by night
On a continent known for its storytelling, with a rich tradition of oral history and communication through narrative, I am always surprised at the lack of quality bloggers. Yes, there are bloggers of note, and some of fame, but I'm talking about the grassroots, the common person putting thought to electron and creating personal and professional narrative in the scale and scope that we've seen in America.

I think the two main reasons we don't see a similar or greater exposition in local, digital content are:

  1. Low ICT penetration rates: With the combination of high costs and low overall usage, I can understand that it's not easy to find access to the tools of blogging. Trying to compose posts in a cybercafe is hard - I know, I did it for years. And few African jobs are as computer and Internet focused as American employment, which underlies much of our content boom.
  2. Restrictive public discourse: In the USA, we have a long and very well defended freedom of speech. And while you can get fired for blogging from work, its rare that your personal options can get you dismissed or rarer still would it get you arrested. Few countries in Africa have the same liberties/
So its with great joy and love that I came across Ghana Bloggers. A core group of West Africans who are pushing the edge in personal content creation and display in several categories of discussions. While there are a number of Ghana bloggers, I'd like to highlight two that I find worthy of my RSS Reader:
  • Oluniyi David Ajao - is a Nigerian living and working in Ghana, so he's very West African in mindset and business focused in his thoughts and writings
  • Mac-Jordan - is a Ghanaian social blogger who covers technology and Accra with refreshingly good writing
If you can only add two new voices in your life, you'd do good to add both. Oh and if you're in Accra, buy either a beer, but do your best not to support David's horrid taste in booze.

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Ghana, August 12, 2009

MamaPut's Cook With Recycled Rim Stoves

Now we're really cooking!
I love street food. Everywhere I go, from street markets in Russia, to back alleys of Beijing to side streets in Skopje, to the boulevards of Bamako, I make it a point to eat as many meals from roadside stands as possible. Ghana and Nigeria are no exception. In fact, I love me a MamaPut.

Its only where Mama herself is there to put more of her good eats on your plate, that I really feel I'm getting a good meal. Why? Because I can see ever step of its preparation, talk with the chief personally, and share the transcending bond of food with my fellow man and woman.

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Ghana, August 11, 2009

Ghana to Obama and America: Thank You!

looking shiny in the daylight
Its hard to appreciate or underestimate the effect Barack Obama's presidency has on Africans. That a black man, son of a Muslim Kenyan, is now President of the United States. Add in that he comes after the Bush years, which were seen as very arrogant, and his election was a watershed moment in American-African relations.

Now don't even try to imagine the overwhelming pride of Ghana, a small West African, in being the first African country to host Obama after the election. Even walking among Ghanians after his visit, talking with everyone from taxi drivers to leading businessmen, I still can only glimpse at their happiness.

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