Ghana - Accra
Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast due to its mineral wealth, is a West African country with access to the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo.
The flag of Ghana, as well as belonging to a country and a nation, is something that the people of Ghana are immensely proud of. Many people wear this badge on their cars, houses, and also on their clothes.
When someone says “AKWAABA” in Ghana, they say “WELCOME” in the language of the Akan tribe, practically the largest tribe in African history and the largest ethnic group in Ghana.
And while the world’s major powers have performed wonders economically or technologically, Africa has failed to contribute to such progress. Instead, Africa contributes in the form of a social ethic that develops a deep respect for the individual and human values.
Therefore, when they say “akwaaba” in Ghana, you really feel like a welcome guest, feel the warmth and cordiality of this people.
Although it is not worth talking about the history of Ghana here, it is impossible not to mention:
Ghana is a country whose very turbulent, perhaps most painful, history can be called shocking without any hesitation. For centuries, European conquerors fought for dominance of its Gold Coast, and between 1525 and 1859 the fortifications changed their purpose from a warehouse for the supply of timber (logs) and gold to the final destination of African slaves. There are no official figures, and during that period, it is estimated that in the largest migration in human history, on the 540-kilometer coastline of today’s Ghana, more than 8 million Africans were forcibly loaded on ships and sent to sail as slaves at one time. direction. Chained to each other, on the lower deck of the ships, in one room, without water and sanitary facilities, up to a thousand slaves were loaded onto one ship. Mortality during the inhuman transport was estimated at 27%, which would mean that only on ships during transport and only from this part of the African continent, about 3 million people died during a period called the Transatlantic slave trade.
Of the 42 forts along the Atlantic coast that served as slave prisons, the three most famous and most visited by tourists today are Cape Coast Castle, Elmina Castle, and Fort Christiansborg, which were the last stop for slaves before boarding ships. that is why they have the symbolic name “The Door of No Return”.
The British Gold Coast was officially established in 1867, the beginning of the colonization of Ghana by the United Kingdom (England), and after much upheaval, Ghana managed to free itself from colonialism and become independent in 1957. More importantly, it was Ghana that started the wave of decolonization in this part of the world.
The first president of free Ghana was Kwame Nkrumah, who, unfortunately, was overthrown in a military coup, but remained the most popular politician of the period of independence.
Considering all these events that followed the history of Ghana, we can conclude that the “Gold Coast” is not the most desirable place for tourists from the West, especially from Europe, but on the contrary, the people of Ghana are considered one of the most friendly and hospitable peoples of Africa, because that one of the words of the Akan tribe is also important for them – “UBUNTU”, which means “TO BE A HUMAN”.
The capital and largest city is Accra, whose metropolitan area has 4.2 million inhabitants and is located on the Atlantic coast.
However, it seems incredible to us that many residents of Ghana and Accra do not have personal documents and their existence is not recorded anywhere, so these official figures are most likely incorrect. In addition, many do not actually have real addresses, since many streets do not have names or any signs, so a large number of residents use post boxes to receive mail.
Accra is both a place of great wealth and wealth, but also a city of misery and poverty.
But regardless of social status, people in Ghana are smiling and always ready for music and dancing.
Although Accra is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, only a few small beaches are landscaped and clean and therefore suitable for the use of tourists and foreigners.
Much of the coastline in Accra itself is unfortunately unkempt and littered.
Labadi is the largest beach in the city, but it is landscaped only on the part that belongs to the Labadi Hotel.
The time when Accra residents go to the beaches en masse is Christmas and Easter. The beaches are their traditional place to spend these holidays.
It is very interesting that most of the inhabitants of Accra, although they spend their whole lives on the beaches of the ocean, do not know how to swim. The reason for this is that they are taught from childhood that the ocean can be very dangerous, so from generation to generation, as a legacy, they do not even try to swim.
And in this part of the Atlantic it is really impossible to swim, because the sea currents are strong, and the waves are often so big that you can only jump like a toy in shallow water. With the arrival of people from all over the world who often settle in Ghana, more and more children and young people love and surf, but mostly on the beaches outside the capital itself.
Well, if we talk about those beaches that are outside of Accra … these beaches really look, as we would say, “like from a postcard.” I think photos will tell you more than words, but more on that in the next blog.