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Tag Archives: Ghana

African Tourism projects: great potential or white elephants?

Not too many people are aware that Ghana has a very good game park, called Mole National Park, about two hours drive from Tamale in the north, which is in turn a short flight from Accra.

Like many other African governments, Ghana’s government has high hopes for earnings from tourism. Will it happen?

You can sign me up as a zealous booster of Ghana tourism. Mole National Park alone is amazing, as I hope some…

Posted in Field notes | Also tagged 21 Comments

The Lives of Others

UPDATE: contrasting negative images offered by commentators on Twitter (see end of post)

My Ghanaian friends often tell me that if you want to understand Ghanaians at all, you have to understand how religious are most Ghanaians. I believed them of course, but it didn’t really become vivid until I attended the most amazing church service this morning. I am not saying this out of any religious motives, just to point out another side of…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Field notes | Also tagged , 32 Comments

Is &%# allowed in aid?

My wife and I visited the village of Goyire yesterday, about 30km from Bolgatanga in northern Ghana, home to the Builse subgroup of the Talensi ethnic group. We were looking at a malaria bed nets project that I will discuss more in a future post.  The community had organized a skit to dramatize why bed net utilization is so important to prevent malaria. The amateur community Thespians doing the skit really hammed it up and the…

Posted in Field notes, Global health | Also tagged 9 Comments

Greetings from remote places

Greetings Aid Watchers, just back on line, been busy touring remote places in northern Ghana. I’ll be writing up experiences in a future post, but I only have a few minutes right now. One very quick thought I have been having:

Q: what’s the difference between remote northern Ghana and downtown Manhattan?

A: my iPhone gets a signal in remote northern Ghana

Posted in Field notes | 13 Comments

Fitting Kwame the cabbie into the brain drain equation

The following post is by Yaw Nyarko, a Professor of Economics at NYU and founding director of Africa House.

Not too long ago I got in a cab in New York with a Ghanaian taxi driver named Kwame. He remembered picking me up several years ago. What a memory he has. Anyway, he told me he has four children: one is a doctor and the two youngest are in private school. He said his kids…

Posted in Academic research, Field notes, Global health | Also tagged , 16 Comments

Me and Lady Gaga

You are connected by “Six Degrees of Separation” to almost everyone. This surprising amount of connectedness was brought home to me when I realized that I knew a person who knew Lady Gaga (One Degree of Separation). The connection had nothing at all to do with my career or that of Stefani Germanotta, but only with our respective networks of family and friends.

Economists have gotten as excited as anyone else by social networks.…

Posted in Academic research | Also tagged , , 5 Comments

Ghana. 1970.

Posted in History, Meta | Also tagged 7 Comments

Four Ways Brain Drain out of Africa is a good thing

Conventional wisdom frets that the exodus of skilled workers—the brain drain—is bad for African countries. The share of Africans with college degrees who live outside their home countries is certainly high: nearly half of Ghanaians, about 40 percent of Kenyans, and about one-third of Ugandans.

The metaphor of the term itself implies that brain drain is a waste, as if all Africa’s most promising minds were being sucked down some global sink, leaving behind a…

Posted in Academic research, Migration | Also tagged , 26 Comments

Africans already got the idea: “Africa does not need strong men, it needs strong institutions”

A reaction to President Obama’s speech in Ghana by Leonard Wantchekon, NYU Professor of Politics

Overall, I like the theme of the President Obama’s speech in Ghana. Africans must own their future by strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law in their countries, and by becoming less reliant on assistance. I also like the idea of a real partnership between Africa and other developed countries based on trade. It is very much in…

Posted in Cognitive biases, Democracy and freedom, In the news | Also tagged , , 12 Comments

Begin it Now: The Inspirational Success of Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana

Ashesi (which means “beginning” in a local language) is a remarkable private university begun in 2002 by a returning Ghanaian expatriate, Patrick Awuah.

A recent column in the Seattle Times interviewed Awuah and profiled the university: “So far, its four graduating classes have had a 100 percent placement rate. Most graduates have stayed in Africa, and some have even started companies that are hiring Ashesi students.”

Half of the students are on scholarship. I…

Posted in Big ideas, Entrepreneurship | Also tagged 14 Comments