The blog.


The Power of Fabrication and Hoax on Social Media

The potency of hoax and fabricated news has been prevalent in WhatsApp and other social media. From India alone, not less than one million messages and video news are sent to WhatsApp and other social media every month. Only about 150 messages and videos are said to be true. The rest are fabrications and hoax. Such news items have a wide reach. Depending on the news, readers and viewers who fail to see them as hoax either get scared, startled or experience a feeling of insecurity. Not many are able to determine very early that the news items are just fabrications. Almost every country, including Ghana, has had its share of such hoax news on social media.

We all woke up one day to read on WhatsApp that former president of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings had passed away at 69. The news spread quickly on all social media. When the news of the alleged death reached Rawlings he was upset about this fabrication which did not help anyone.

Michael Essien, former midfielder of Chelsea and Black Stars, was reported dead. The news was on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media that Essien was involved in a fatal accident in Indonesia where he plays for a local club, Persib Bandung. Sadness engulfed Ghanaians and lovers of football worldwide only to find out that the news was a hoax.

Ghanaians were shocked when they heard the news of the disappearance of Ghana’s rap artist, Castro, and another lady. As Ghanaians were trying to come to terms with the mysterious disappearance, news came around that Castro was still alive. The one that took WhatsApp and other social media by storm was the confirmation of a lawyer who was interviewed at Adom FM that Castro was under intensive care in a hospital in Lomé, Togo’s capital city. A funeral that was supposed to be held by Castro’s family was halted. A group was sent to that particular hospital the lawyer was referring to. Castro was not there. The news was a mere fabrication and a hoax.

These days many funny sayings shared on social media have been attributed to Robert Mugabe. In the beginning, people believed that Mugabe actually said those things since the man is used to saying controversial but brilliant things. But when they were becoming too many, people realised they were false news. Zimbabwean government officials formally issued a statement denying that Mugabe said such things. Here are two of my most popular “Mugabe sayings”: 1. Girls who are called Monica like money and cars. 2. Dear ladies, if your boyfriends did not wish you a Happy Mother’s day or sing sweet Mother for you, you should stop breastfeeding them. Of course, Mugabe didn’t say these things. Dear reader, what is your favourite Mugabe saying?

Such social media fabrications are sometimes used by industrialised countries to undermine the progress of other countries’ economy. A devastating news item was carried on WhatsApp claiming that China is now producing and bagging rice made of plastic material. Many were fast to authenticate the claim on videos to demonstrate how the rice looks like when it is cooked. The Chinese contend that if what people are claiming is true why is the World Health Organization (WHO) silent?

The Chinese claim this fabrication was designed by the Americans who, according to the Chinese, are obviously scared by the fast rate of development and progress of the country. The Chinese decided to pay back in the same coin and put the Americans to shame. Soon a video that shocked the world was making rounds on social media. The video showed a truck loaded with human cadavers in front of a McDonald’s outlet. The Chinese claim the dead bodies are mashed in machines and used for the burgers which are distributed to all McDonald’s restaurants. When this horrific video came out, about 25% of visitors who patronized the restaurant, it was reported, stopped eating at McDonalds. The directors denied this claim as a mere fabrication.

There was another video claiming the Chinese were now eating aborted babies and even full babies who are sold by their parents. According to the narrator, foetus and embryos have been made into soup for human consumption. It is believed the Chinese are eating this to increase health, stamina and sexual performance. The media war between America and China is still going on. This fits well in the Ghanaian parlance, “if you do me, I do you”.

Immediately after the 2016 US election, the potency of fabricated and hoax news came into focus. Fake news on the elections began to appear on social media during the run-up to the ballot. The first put Mrs Clinton in a comfortable lead. When the reality of the election dawned on Americans, another news item that was clearly fabricated appeared on social media that Donald Trump had hacked into the electoral commission’s computer system to add more votes. This news drew more attention than any other news in the major news media in the United States. This turned out to be mere fabrication.

Often, people make up their own wisdom words and attribute them to famous persons. One of the most serious ones appeared a few years ago about the last words of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, in which he regretted having spent all his life looking for money but not having time to spend it. The passage was so long and detailed that nobody on his dying bed, in the throes of pain, drifting between life and death, could possibly have said those things as his last words. It was purely fake news.

WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media should be used with much care and circumspection. Not all news published in these media can be taken as true and authentic and therefore such news that smack of fabrication and hoax should not be shared. Some are true but many are not.  There was a humorous message I received some time ago telling me the food items that are dangerous to my health. It was a very long list that contained all the food items that I can possibly think of ever eating in my life. It was when I was going to complain and ask which food items are left for me to eat that I realised it was a joke – no food item is good for your health so the best thing is not to eat anything at all and starve to death! I appreciated the joke. But what about those who don’t see the humour?

Because of advances in picture and video editing programmes, it is easy even for amateurs to create false pictures and videos. We have to be careful about the things shared on social media and how we believe in them. Often, when you read something that is asking you to share it with others, you must be suspicious. You must check and check again to see if it is genuine. Fortunately, there are many websites that are devoted to debunking false social media messages. Anytime you have your doubts, just go online and check if it is not another hoax to make your life terrible. Never share a story you are not sure of.

By Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

5 SECRETS ABOUT GHANA JOLLOF THAT NIGERIANS DON’T KNOW : By Chef Elijah A. Addo

Future of Ghana Alumni Chef Elijah A. Addo recently revealed 5 “secrets” about Jollof…here they are:

1. Ghana Jollof is made with love : Ghanaians prepare their jollof with ingredients and spices drawn from the streams of love and that reflects in the aroma and taste of our jollof,days after it is cooked.

2. Ghana Jollof is the “Aliko Dangote” of African foods : In as much as jollof originally originated from SenegalGambian empire of Jolof, Ghanaians took the prototype and built upon it to become what the world knows it. Ghana jollof is entrepreneurial.

3.Ghana jollof is scalable : The tricks of preparing different versions of Ghanaian jollof makes it easy to be prepared from any part of the world. Nigeria jollof is a one way method making it difficult to be prepared in regions like China, Russia, North Korea, London,etc.

4. Ghana Jollof is a balanced diet recommended to fight child malnutrition across the continent. Nigerians must come to Ghana to learn how we are using Jollof to overcome hunger and malnutrition. Former President Rawlings donated jollof to our Somalian brothers.

5. Ghana Jollof is celebrated as festival : Ghana Tourism Authority celebrates a National jollof festival because our jollof has balls.Ghana jollof is eaten with confidence across the globe due to it’s high nutritional content. You don’t have leftover for our jollof. Ghana jollof is bae.

NB: This article is satirical piece by Chef Elijah A. Addo, 2017 Queens Young Leader and founder of Food for All Africa in recognition of the Ghana Jollof Festival scheduled for 26th August, 2017 is being organised to promote Ghanaian cuisine, and is in connection with the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana campaign initiated by the Ghana Tourism Authority.

Africa has entered the space race, with Ghana’s first satellite now orbiting earth

The GhanaSat-1―Ghana’s first satellite―began its orbit recently, with a little help from some friends.

The cubesat, built by a Ghanaian engineering team at All Nations University, was delivered to NASA’s International Space Station in June on a SpaceX rocket that took off from pad 39a at Kennedy Space Center, a NASA spokesperson confirmed.

The GhanaSat-1 deployed into orbit from the Center in July, and is now operational, according to project manager Richard Damoah, a Ghanaian professor and assistant research scientist at NASA.

“This particular satellite has two missions,” Damoah told TechCrunch. “It has cameras on board for detailed monitoring of the coastlines of Ghana. Then there’s an educational piece―we want to use it to integrate satellite technology into high school curriculum,” he said.

GhanaSat-1 will send a signal to a ground station at All Nations University’s Space Systems and Technology Laboratory. That’s where it was developed by a team of engineers that included Benjamin BonsuErnest Teye Matey, and Joseph Quansah. 

While Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo applauded the launch and congratulated the team directly, the project did not receive official Ghanaian government support, according to Damoah. Instead, Japan’s national space agency, JAXA, provided the bulk of the resources and training to develop the satellite.

The GhanaSat-1 deployment marks increased interest and activity in Africa toward space exploration.  Nigeria’s first cubesat launched on the same SpaceX mission. “Several nations, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia have space agencies. Angola announced its intention to launch a satellite over the coming year,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

She also pointed to Pan-African efforts to coordinate space efforts, such as the African Union’s African Space Policy and Strategy initiative―adopted last year―that prompted AU members states  “to realize an African Outer space Programme, as one of the flagship programmes….of the AU Agenda.”

Damoah believes the GhanaSat-1 deployment could prompt Ghanaian government  resources toward a second satellite project coordinated by All Nations University and the country’s Science Space and Technology Center. “After this launch, we now have the support of the president and cabinet support,” he said. “We are looking to develop a GhanaSat-2, with high resolution cameras, that could monitor things such as illegal mining, water use, and deforestation in the country.”

Article via TechCrunch

British Council, Ghana announces August 30-31 ‘Social Thursday’ event

The British Council has announced the first of its Social Thursday event series slated to take place at the British Council in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday, 30thAugust to Thursday 31st August 2017, from 10am to 8pm each day. This event is hosted in partnership with TEDx Accra and SE Ghana.

The goal of this event is to assist social entrepreneurs with the needed skill sets to create impact and profit in their businesses. Social entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to explore solutions to the challenges faced in generating profit and impact in their businesses. The event will also present an avenue for the general public to attend a TEDx-styled talk on the theme, “IMPACT AND PROFIT’’. The talk is expected to uncover how to effectively deliver, measure and communicate impact as well as improve profit margin as a social enterprise.

This year, the British Council is giving social entrepreneurs the chance to exhibit their products and services on both days. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a business pitch competition coupled with mentoring sessions from business experts.
Attendance is free. Visit the British Council Ghana website to register or follow us on twitter @ghBritish via the hashtag #SocialThursday, and on Facebook

For those who want to pitch 
Are you a social entrepreneur and ready to pitch your idea to a group of investors for advice, funding and skills development from the British council’s skills hub during the social Thursday? Then register here. Sign up now for limited slots.

For Exhibitors
From Wednesday, 30th August 2017 to Thursday, 31st August 2017, we are creating space for 20 social entrepreneurs to exhibit their businesses (Products and Services) at the Social Thursday Event for FREE. Register here.

Contact Marilyn Adutwum on +233302610090 or Marilyn.Adutwum@gh.britishcouncil.org for more information.
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VOICE EXCLUSIVE: Get 2 for 1 tickets to Jamaica House 2017!

The Voice is offering readers an exclusive 2 for 1 offer for tickets to Jamaica House 2017 at the o2 in London.

The much-anticipated Jamaica House 2017 starts tomorrow at the o2 and runs until August 13. Performers include Freddie McGregor, Ziggy Marley, Luciano, OMI, Nesbeth, Protégé and more.

The races will be shown on the big-screen, so you won’t miss Usain Bolt and other Jamaican athletes as they compete at the IAAF World Championships.

View the Jamaica House 2017 promotional video here -https://youtu.be/J-99HzNWvvk

Click the link below to get this exclusive Voice offer of 2 for 1 tickets to any of the Jamaica House 2017 shows from August 5-13. To take advantage of the offer, book your tickets anytime between now and this Sunday August 6, 2017 at 12 midnight GMT

August 8 Tickets 
August 11 Tickets 

GHANA – A NATION IN RETROSPECTIVE, FRIDAY 4 AUGUST, 18.00 – 21.45, VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM

This Friday the V&A Museum invites you to a special event..  ‘Ghana – A Nation in Retrospective’ with a welcome and opening address at 18.00 by Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley.

Historians, cultural theorists, scholars, museum curators, artists and performers of the diaspora, will look retrospectively at a nation that over the last 60 years has shaped a modern vision, and established Ghanaians as trend-setting ‘Afropolitans’.

Join them to review and re-contextualise your history, heritage, culture and future by exploring Ashanti Goldweights & Regalia(1874); William Ansah Sessarakoo (1736 – 1770); kings, family and colonialism in Keta (mid 1880s – mid 20th century); women, cloth & culture; the story of Pan-Africanism (late 1700s – 1963); an immersive simulation of Nkrumah’s WE MUST UNITE NOW OR PERISH (1963); a re-discovery of heritage through food; pop-up photo salon; soulful rock, and DJs with an Independence soundtrack.

Date: Friday, 4 August 2017

Time: 18.00 – 21.45

Venue: Sackler Centre Reception, V&A Museum

Ticket price: £3.00 – £5.00

For More information and to book Tickets visit – https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/1KWB4x8a/ghana-a-nation-in-retrospective-aug-2017

Join the Future of Ghana Research Study

Research Survey…

Future of Ghana Ltd are pleased to announce our research survey aimed at the 2nd generation British Ghanaian demographic is now live on futureofghana.com. The survey follows a pre-survey released last month undertaken to give us a better sense of our potential data and refine our research.

This survey forms part of a wider research study (to include focus groups and interviews) on the ways in which the 2nd generation British Ghanaian engages with Ghana, why they do so and how they would like to. At the same time building up a profile of who the 2nd generation actually are.  

The findings will be published in a report in time for Independence Day next year.

 

Why?…

The purpose of the study is to explore the ways in which diaspora groups interact with their ‘home’ countries.  As stated the focus of this study is 2nd generation Ghanaians in the UK, how they engage with/desire to engage with Ghana (i.e. through social, cultural, economic/financial and skills channels) and its implications for diaspora engagement efforts, policies and development.

The study will attempt to understand the underlying factors driving engagement with Ghana, the priorities and patterns of 2nd generation engagement (in comparison to 1st generation) and what, if any, barriers to engagement exist. We are intent on ensuring your collective voices are represented, which we hope will help shape policy, add to the dialogue around the diaspora and contribute to Ghana’s diaspora engagement efforts.

 

Who?…

We are inviting all 2nd generation British Ghanaians who resides in the UK aged 18 years old and above to participate in this study by taking the survey.
For the purposes of this study, 2nd generation British Ghanaian is being defined as:

  • UK born children of at least 1 Ghanaian born parent
  • Ghanaian born children of at least 1 Ghanaian parent who emigrated to the UK before primary school age (5 years old) and settled here.

 

Results..

The results of the survey will be analysed with data collected from focus group discussions and interviews and used towards a research report to be published by Future of Ghana Ltd.

The final report will be completed by March 2018, and we will be sharing the report with all participants. It will be formally launched at an event in mid-2018.
For more information on the study visit our website and you can take the survey here.

The best books on Ghana: start your summer reading here

A literary tour of Ghana takes in the early disappointments of independence, a woman’s search for personal freedom, and the gradual evolution of democracy.

 

The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah

This morality tale’s unnamed narrator, a railway clerk in Accra, strives to maintain his integrity amid the corruption that surrounds him in newly independent Ghana. His refusal to accept bribes, despite struggling to make ends meet on his meagre salary, angers those around him – especially his acquisitive wife.

The high hopes he had for the country at independence have soured, and he is bitter that things have grown rotten “with such obscene haste”. “The man”, as the narrator is referred to, views the new leaders as trying “to be the dark ghosts of Europeans” – aping the repression and rapacity of the country’s white former colonial masters.

Armah’s acerbic debut novel excoriates President Kwame Nkrumah’s government for the graft and extortion that were rife in 1960s Ghana. A military coup in 1966 overthrows Nkrumah but, rather than heralding better days to come, it merely brings “another group of bellies [that] will be bursting with the country’s riches”.

As the man continues to grapple with providing for his wife and children and resisting “the rot” he sees everywhere, a misspelled inscription on a bus (which provides the book’s title) offers a sliver of hope for an end to the ugly realities of the day.

Armah, born in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), lives as something of a recluse in Dakar, Senegal.

 

Changes: A Love Story by Ama Ata Aidoo

The provocative and engaging tale of a young woman in modern-day Accra who challenges sexism and social mores, Aidoo’s story resonates beyond Ghana.Esi Sekyi, a smart, spiritedcareer woman, feels stifled in her marriage. Finding her ambitions curbed and freedoms constrained by her husband, she decides to divorce him.

No one Esi knows is remotely sympathetic. Her sharp-tongued grandmother chastises her, saying women must do “the serious business of living with our heads and never our hearts”.

And her best friend, Opokuya Dakwa, who wants more freedom in her own marriage, reminds her: “Our people have said that for any marriage to work, one party has to be a fool … And they really mean the woman.”

Esi meets Ali Kondey, a successful businessman, and is charmed by him. They become lovers, and Ali – a Muslim who is married and has children – urges Esi to become his second wife. Curiously, for such a fiercely independent woman, she agrees.

Later, as disillusionment with her polygamous marriage sets in, she reflects on life “stretching ahead like the Yendi-Tamale road when it was first constructed: straight, flat and endless”.

Aidoo wears her feminism on her sleeve, and gets her message across with sly humour rather than being preachy or shouty. The author, also a poet and playwright, served briefly as minister of education in the 1980s.

 

My First Coup Detat by John Dramani Mahama

Mahama’s first coup – which he experienced as a seven-year-old – was the army’s 1966 ousting of Nkrumah, who had led Ghana to independence from Britain nine years earlier. It proved to be a life-changing experience for the author. His father, a government minister, was held by the military for more than a year and came back a changed man.

Reinventing himself as a rice farmer, Mahama Sr became extremely wealthy. He eventually returned to politics, only to be forced to flee the country after yet another coup.

His father plays a big part in Mahama’s endearing memoir, in which he recounts his coming of age – in tandem with his newly independent country – during Africa’s “lost decades”. During that bleak post-colonial period – from the late 60s to the 90s – the continent was bedevilled by economic stagnation and political turbulence.

Mahama delivers an intimate, insider’s account through personal stories, and weaves in some of Ghana’s own progress and pitfalls along the way.

The cycle of coups finally ended in 1992, when the country adopted a new constitution and entered into an era of democracy that brought “the return of hope”.

Like his father, Mahama went into politics. He published this book during his term as vice-president, and went on to serve as president from 2012 to 2017.

Pushpinder Khaneka is the author of Read the World: A Country-by-Country Guide to the Best Books on the Global South

Article via The Guardian

 

Is This the Woman Who Will Save Uber?

A little over a year before Bozoma Saint John became the first chief brand officer at Uber, the transportation company’s best hope to rehabilitate its tarnished image, she hailed a ride from the Four Seasons hotel in Austin, Tex., to a nearby business dinner. What pulled up was a wreck.

“Hey, nothing’s going to happen to me in this car, right?” Ms. Saint John said half-jokingly to the driver. “You can drive, right?”

She expected him to banter back. Instead, he told her that a group of taxi drivers at the airport had vandalized the vehicle and that he needed the money from this ride to fix it. He also mentioned that he had been saving to see Iggy Pop, his late brother’s favorite rocker, at the South by Southwest festival, which Ms. Saint John was attending as the head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple Music.

She gasped. Her dinner was with Iggy Pop. Would the driver, perhaps, like to come along?

Cue the tears (and the five-star passenger rating).

“Everybody was like: ‘What’s happening? Is this your date? I don’t understand. Why is this guy here?’” Ms. Saint John said. “It was such a beautiful, human moment,” one that was chronicled on her Instagram account, @badassboz, where she has more than 40,000 followers.

“We’re all rushing in our lives, and I was so concerned with getting from here to there, and if not for the moment of humanity where we just started talking, that connection would not have happened,” she said. “What a miss that would have been. What a miss!”

This story was part of what convinced Arianna Huffington, a founder of The Huffington Post and a high-profile member of Uber’s board, that Ms. Saint John was the right person to shepherd Uber out of its recent thicket of legal and ethical scandals.

She moved to New York, and through a temp agency got gigs as a catering server and a receptionist for an Upper East Side dog-washing salon. She also began going to nightclubs, where she made friends with influencers like Rene Mclean, who ran a D.J. boot camp. Her temp agency sent her to SpikeDDB, Spike Lee’s advertising firm. Mr. Lee had fired his assistant and wanted someone to answer phones while he looked for a new one.

“She walked in, she got the job,” he said. “It was evident that she was going to go places.”

Ms. Saint John went from making coffee runs to helping Mr. Lee brainstorm campaigns, like casting Beyoncé, who had just left Destiny’s Child, as Carmen in a Pepsi commercial.

“That became the turning point where, O.K., I can actually use my knowledge of pop culture, running around these streets with my friends, knowing the inside track on things, to help inform business decisions,” she said. She also met her husband-to-be, an advertising executive, in the company cafeteria.

After a stint selling smoking cessation products for GlaxoSmithKline, Ms. Saint John took a marketing job at Pepsi, coming up with projects like the “Pepsi DJ Division,” which included D.J. Khaled.

In 2013, she orchestrated the halftime show Pepsi sponsored at the Super Bowl featuring Beyoncé. Four months later, her husband’s illness was diagnosed. Their daughter had just turned 4.

“Towards the end of his life, as everything started to fail, he was very adamant that I not stop what I was doing,” Ms. Saint John said. “He was telling me to hold his hands because he couldn’t grasp anymore, saying, ‘Promise me, you’re going to keep going.’”

On the 13th anniversary of their first date, Ms. Saint John posted a status update on Facebook, saying in part, “we reflect over our years together as he has a chemo cocktail and I drink red wine in a paper cup.” Mr. Saint John died in December 2013. Ms. Saint John, true to her word, kept going. In February 2014, Jimmy Iovine, a founder of Interscope Records, found out she was in Los Angeles for a sister’s wedding and requested a meeting at his house in Malibu. He had just started Beats Music, a streaming service, with her teenage idol, Dr. Dre. Who was Mr. Iovine? How did streaming work? She wasn’t quite sure, but she drove to the beachside residence.

“We ended up talking for four hours,” Ms. Saint John said. “I was raw. I needed something to give me some hope for the future. I needed something that could help me see further. When he was talking about all this newfangled stuff, I said: ‘That sounds like the future! I’m going to the future!’”

Ms. Saint John quit Pepsi and moved to Los Angeles as the head of global marketing for Beats. Her role expanded when Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and she came up with popular ad campaigns for Apple Music, like a 2015 commercial in which Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson bond over post-breakup songs in a light and palm-frond-filled mansion (“Siri, play ‘I Will Survive,’” Ms. Washington says). Last year, Ms. Saint John walked on stage at Apple’s developers’ conference — the first black woman to do so — blasting old-school rap and commanding the room of mostly white men to bounce to the beat.Wired wondered, “Who the hell is this badass woman, and how did Apple keep her secret for so long?”

After hearing Ms. Saint John’s story of her Austin ride, “I had a flash — ‘Wow, she’d be great at Uber,’” Ms. Huffington said. “I thought she would be a great person to tell these amazing stories of our drivers, to touch people’s hearts, to bring more humanity to the brand.”

In May, Ms. Saint John and Travis Kalanick, an Uber founder and then chief executive, spent eight hours at Ms. Huffington’s home in Los Angeles, discussing what she might do for the company, both grand and simple.

“I think I might need to wear a disguise, but I want to drive,” she said. “What happens when someone gets in the car and they’re upset? Is that a moment? Do you just stay quiet or do you talk?”

Mr. Kalanick would step down as chief executive a month later. The hunt is on for his successor. But whoever it is will have Ms. Saint John helping steer from the passenger seat, stilettos and speakers on.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Diaspora Ghanaians, A Clear Opportunity to Invest in Ghana

Many diaspora Ghanaians are eager to return home and invest when the economy and political situation are good for settlement and business. In 2001 when former president, J.A Kufuor, wrestled power from the revolutionary turned democrat, J.J Rawlings, he met an economy that was impoverished and highly indebted to donor countries. Kufuor was able to put things in place. He was able to inspire Ghana’s parliament and gave hope to the citizens to cherish the innovations and systematic development of his government which attracted foreign investors and diaspora Ghanaians. What is more, the judiciary at that time inspired confidence and trust among the citizenry and this made the diaspora look at the judiciary as the epitome of fairness.

The NPP regime under Akufo-Addo has begun to create conditions that are suitable and convenient for diaspora Ghanaians to return home to invest. The situation will gradually be like what happened under Kufuor when hundreds of Ghanaians abroad came home with different projects and investments. Banks were going from door to door asking people to come for loans. The condition to invest was perfect. However, when the NDC came to power, the economy sank to its lowest ebb; the value of the cedi went low against the dollar. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the intermittent cut in electricity which became known as dumsor. The situation was so unbearable that many businesses had to fold up and the diaspora Ghanaians who came down under Kufuor had to return abroad.

The Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit 2017 was held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) from the 5th to 8th of July 2017. The aim was to announce the vast investment opportunities that are going to be available under Akufo-Addo’s regime. In pursuance of the agenda of one village one factory, Ghanaians at home and abroad were urged to seize the opportunity to invest since the government was ready to support any Ghanaian who is ready to start a viable project. In this connection the government got a loan of $10 billion from the Chinese government to fulfil the campaign promises of one factory in every district and a million dollars for every constituency and other needs.

The money will be deposited in five strategic banks for anyone, including diaspora Ghanaians, to present projects and apply for funds from those selected banks. Ghana, like most African countries, has for long been classified as a virgin land and a land of opportunities. However, for the last decade, due to misrule, corruption and dumsor, diaspora Ghanaians were hesitant to come down and invest in Ghana. Existing companies were folding up due to dumsor, high cost of living and massive poverty. The political climate, the insightful governance of Nana Addo and effective policy implementation have convinced many diaspora Ghanaians to take advantage of the investment climate in Akufo-Addo’s Ghana. A call has already been made to Ghanaians to be part of the one district one factory agenda.

What are the best and most viable business ideas and investment opportunities in Ghana for investors and Ghanaian entrepreneurs abroad? Ghana has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. With all the plans this present government has put in place, it is potentially and fundamentally viable and worthy to do business in Ghana. President Akufo-Addo has consistently and repeatedly appealed to Diaspora Ghanaians to take advantage of the strong and vast mineral resource sector, cocoa industry, consistent government policy, oil discoveries, steady power supply, friendly business environment and a free trade zone for foreign companies. With Nana Addo and his effective ministers in place, Ghana will definitely be a country to beat in future.

There are certain types of businesses that can easily be managed profitably by diaspora Ghanaians. The first is waste management. Many have gone into this waste management but the filth and garbage keep on mounting and these have overwhelmed the existing companies. Moreover, there are so many towns and villages whose wastes are still not managed. Diaspora Ghanaians can seize the opportunity to start waste management companies in Ghana. Telecommunications is also another business that can be looked at. There are several branches under telecommunication. One can specialize in the repair of mobile phones and the sale of accessories. Ghana is in need of such services across the entire country especially if one can combine these with effective distribution of internet to homes and offices.

Agriculture and food production is one of the best options for Ghanaians abroad. Everyone is aware that food is an irreplaceable need in our daily lives. The demand for farm products keeps on increasing and anyone who goes into food production is sure of an unending demand. In addition to food, one could also go into teak plantation which also generates money when harvested. The products on the farm can easily spark off a food processing factory. Indeed Ghana is waiting for entrepreneurs and investors. Nana Addo’s arms are open to receive and financially support abroad Ghanaians who present feasible project proposals.

There are several businesses in Ghana and as Ghana continues to enjoy a serene political climate in a true democracy, diaspora Ghanaians who decide to return home will discover to their joy that apart from fund support which will readily be available, they will be exposed to more ideas in the oil sector, estate management, service industry, education and many more. Indeed the progress and the positive achievements that will be made by Nana Addo and his NPP government lie within the womb of time.

By  Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads