a dry dusty wind that blows along the northwest coast of Africa. Its time-frame, she describes as “usually show[ing] up in December and blow[ing]s itself out by March.
Harmattan is, indeed, “messy”, covering cars with “fine grit” and “bare tile floors are dusted with a layer of North African sand.” Except that this time, Ghana meteorologists claim they came from Eastern Europe.
Rob Taylor, Canadian blogger in Ghana writing in his blog A Canadian Couple Relishes Acronyms, in his characteristically humorous style, lists the ordeal of getting his passport renewed in Ghana, a process which took nothing less than 82 steps to obtain! By the time he obtained his visa, he writes, he felt:
fully welcomed to Ghana (just in time to leave again)!
Meanwhile, Elodie, now-former OXFAM Ghana Belgian intern, of Akwaaba in Ghana, Gate (Get) to Africa!, writes a contemplative and philosophical entry in French about what she thinks she learnt about being in Ghana and Africa during her one-year stint:
l’Afrique crée la chance de m’ouvrir l’étendue des connaissances (personnelles, sociales, professionnelles) ; l’Europe est là pour me rappeler mon identité et les gens dont je semble rester le plus attachée au bout du compte
[Africa offered me the chance to open up the scope of my acquaintances [personal, social, and professional); Europe is there to remind me of my identity and the people to whom I seem to be the most attached in the long run
She maintains that:
le Ghana – et l’Afrique, par extension – a encore beaucoup à m’offrir. Peut-être même que j’ai moi-même à offrir – j’espère
[Ghana—and Africa by extension—has a lot to offer. Probably much more than I have to offer].
Finally, as Ghana celebrates its Golden Jubilee, it also prepares for the re-denomination of the Ghanaian cedi, Ghanaian blogger Emmanuel.K.Bensah, of Trials and Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen…of Ghana, praises the Bank of Ghana for the pamphlet it issued mid-month for readers of the Daily Graphic with details about the new currency to be issued alongside Ghana’s existing currency, the cedi, in July this year.
In fact, ever since the announcement late last year of the redenomination of the Ghana cedi, such that 10,000 Ghanaian cedis will become, as from July this year, 1 NEW Ghanaian cedi, there have been a number of (silly) jingles on the radio, and a banner (quasi-permanent) on the front page of the Daily Graphic newspaper, and other newspapers so that the public becomes used to the “conversion”.
US-based Ghanaian blogger reflects on the Ghanaian worker, and the certain “pull-in” and “push-out” factors that inhibit the desire of Ghanaians to stay in Ghana and work in the country. He writes:
Ghana's successes are beginning to attract back some of her professionals. At least there are a number of people I know who are talking about returning to Ghana. But in Ghana there is one big “push-out” factor that I see. Not only are salaries too low in terms of cost of living, workers are not paid on time, or regularly, or sometimes even at all, and this includes government workers, especially outside the capitol. There are many highly skilled and dedicated people in Ghana. But if they cannot earn a living, even when they have a job, leaving Ghana becomes more tempting.
Maybe, just maybe, the combination of Ghana’s celebration of its Golden Jubilee and the re-denomination of the Ghana cedi might just do the trick of retaining Ghanaians? Only time will tell.