Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Ghana’s Asante king, receives artefacts returned by the Fowler Museum of UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) to the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, Ghana, on February 8, 2024. © Nipah Dennis / AFP

The Asante empire was the largest and most powerful in the region in the 18th century and controlled an area that was rich in gold. Many of the gold royal artefacts were looted by British troops during the third Anglo-Asante war of 1874. The first collection of seven objects is expected from the Fowler Museum at the University of California in Los Angeles. The second collection of 32 will arrive from the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in the UK. These artefacts are being loaned to the Asante people for six years.

RACHEL AMA ASAA ENGMANN: What are these objects and how did they were looted?…  Seguir leyendo »

Ghana's president, Nana Akufo-Addo, addressing the U.N. General Assembly in 2019. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Under the administration of President Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana has been meticulously exporting an image of the country as a safe destination for Black people and Ghanaians in the diaspora. For years, the nation known as the Black Star of Africa has been seen as a beacon of tolerance and peace.

But no matter how bright stars shine, they all fade and die eventually. A horrifically repressive anti-gay bill in Ghana is a tragic example of how my father’s homeland is rapidly succumbing to the gravitational pull of fundamentalist hatred of LGBTQ people.

First, some context. Many African countries have anti-gay laws still on the books from their colonial eras.…  Seguir leyendo »

A child holds a flag of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after Nana Akufo-Addo was declared president of Ghana by the Electoral Commission in Accra on Dec. 9. (Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty Images)

On Dec. 7, almost 13.2 million Ghanaians voted to reelect incumbent President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Akufo-Addo received 51.3 percent of the vote, mainly defeating his predecessor John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who received 47.3 percent of the vote and has said he will contest the results.

Ghana’s election occurred as covid-19 cases in the country climbed, and only weeks after the death of former president Jerry John Rawlings. Before the election, the International Monetary Fund issued a gloomy 2020 projection of minus-1.6 percent economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa — the lowest on record.…  Seguir leyendo »

People in the town of Nakpayili vote in Ghana's 2016 presidential and parliamentary election. Photo by Louise Wateridge/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.

For the first time since Ghana returned to civilian rule and multi-party politics in 1992, voters have a choice between a sitting and a former president, as well as being able to choose from a wide-ranging list of 12 presidential candidates – including three women – and a woman is also standing for vice president on a major party ticket in another first.

On three previous occasions, power has peacefully transferred between the two major political parties – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) – with any grievances resolved through the legal system, not on the street.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ghana's former president Jerry John Rawlings, who staged two coups and later led the West African country's transition to a stable democracy, has died at 73. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Jerry John Rawlings, the leader of Ghana from 1981 to 2001, has died at age 73. Ghana’s president — and Rawlings’s longtime political opponent — Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo noted the former president’s impact on the nation: “A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for this loss.”

A towering figure in African politics, Rawlings leaves behind a complicated legacy. He was a strongman and a populist. But he carried a moral fervor to root out corruption and bring government closer to the ordinary Ghanaian. He led two coups in Ghana yet also won two multiparty elections — a political résumé that illustrates the tensions underlying Ghana’s democratic system.…  Seguir leyendo »

A rendering of the National Cathedral of Ghana, designed by the Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye. Credit Adjaye Associates

Last month, the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, unveiled the design for a national cathedral that the government will build in Accra. This is a huge deal. It signals that the country is poised to consolidate the gains of decades of democracy. And the new interdenominational Christian cathedral will inspire ambitious civic architecture projects across the continent that harness the talents of Africa’s emerging artists.

Not everyone is cheering, though. Some West Africans have complained that the mixing of church and state is ill advised. They argue that it’s a worrisome case of official partisanship in a part of the world rived by religious conflicts.…  Seguir leyendo »

La dificultad para acceder a atención médica en países de ingresos bajos y medios deteriora la salud pública y genera un lastre para generaciones enteras. Pero en algunas de las comunidades más aisladas del mundo, la tecnología está revolucionando la vinculación de los pacientes con la medicina moderna. En un rincón remoto de Ghana hay un programa de “telemedicina” que muestra lo eficaz que puede ser la digitalización de la atención, al extender la cobertura médica a personas situadas en los márgenes del sistema sanitario.

En 2011, el Servicio de Salud de Ghana y Novartis iniciaron el primer programa piloto de telemedicina del país, con la intención de crear un modelo extensible al nivel nacional.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hayford Amponsam and Bismark Osei (third and fourth from left), two community health workers stationed in Abosamso in rural south-central Ghana, gather basic medical information from a family living in the area. Credit Andrew Green

Hayford Amponsam was making his daily rounds in this small town in south-central Ghana when he came across an infant who was dangerously ill. She had bloody diarrhea and had been coughing up thick mucus for days. Her mother had only sought treatment from a nearby traditional healer.

As a member of Ghana’s inaugural class of 20,000 community health workers, or CHWs, Amponsam, who hails from the area, had been trained for such a situation. He suggested they set off for the nearest health clinic immediately. He carried the girl the 10 minutes it took to cover the one-kilometer journey by foot.…  Seguir leyendo »

La educación sobre sexualidad y salud reproductiva es una cuestión política seria en muchos países occidentales. Allí se ganan o pierden elecciones por temas como el aborto y los valores “familiares”. Pero en Ghana (y en muchos otros países en desarrollo), la planificación familiar es asunto de vida o muerte, especialmente para las mujeres adolescentes y jóvenes.

Hace seis años, yo era una niña en un barrio pobre del sur de Ghana, y allí era normal oír historias de aborto adolescente; de chicas de catorce años dando a luz; y de hombres de dieciocho años que apaleaban a sus novias prepubescentes porque estas se negaban a lavarles la ropa.…  Seguir leyendo »

A supporter in Accra celebrates the victory of New Patriotic Party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in Ghana’s December presidential election. (Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images)

On Saturday, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will be inaugurated as Ghana’s new president after having won a majority of votes in the December elections. Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is the fifth president to be elected under the country’s 1992 constitution. Akufo-Addo’s NPP also won an overwhelming majority of seats in Ghana’s parliament.

The 2016 election put an end to Akufo-Addo’s nearly two-decade long bid to become the country’s leader, having contested to be his party’s presidential nominee in 1998, and having served as an attorney general and foreign minister under President John Kufuor. After Kufuor, he became the NPP’s flag-bearer, but lost in two subsequent elections, in 2008 to John Evans Atta Mills and then to John Mahama in 2012.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ghanaian election officials use a lantern and a smartphone torchlight to assist people voting late at a polling station in Tamale this month. Pius Utomi Ekpei/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Last December, my family gathered at my grandmother’s house for the one-year anniversary of her death. Her house in Akim Oda, a small town in southern Ghana, was filled with well-wishers. I walked into the kitchen to fetch drinks for the guests, and as I opened the fridge, the lights flickered out.

“Oooh, light off!” my aunt called out from the living room. Electricity in the entire town had gone out; it did not return until midday the next day, right before I returned to Accra, the capital. “Surely, we can’t take much more of this,” I thought on the drive back.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Ghana’s president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, celebrate victory in Accra, Ghana, on Dec. 10. The longtime opposition leader won the presidency on his third run for office, a race that was largely seen as a referendum on how the incumbent party had managed the economy. (Sunday Alamba/AP)

In the wake of national elections Dec. 7, Ghana’s president, John Mahama, conceded to challenger Nana Akufo-Addo. The election marks the first time an incumbent has stood for reelection and lost since this West African nation became independent in 1957. Power has changed hands between parties before, but only when the sitting president was standing down as a result of term limits and the ruling party was running a first-time candidate. Political scientists see peaceful handoffs of power like this as an important sign of democratic success.

This election had other markers of success as well. For instance, this year, Ghana introduced measures to record and verify the votes at each polling station to protect the process of counting and collating votes from fraud.…  Seguir leyendo »

When my husband-to-be and I met the Ghanaian politician John Dramani Mahama at a friend’s wedding near Accra eight years ago, I liked him immediately. I kept up with his fortunes mostly through mutual friends, and I was happy to learn in 2009 that he had been elected his nation’s vice president.

When I read a draft of his trenchant memoir, “My First Coup d’État,” in 2010, I offered to introduce him to some agents and editors in New York. Many people in the developed world expect African heads of state to be either terse and political or bloated and ideological.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema: En este ARI se examina la corriente de ingresos que recibirá Ghana como consecuencia de la producción de petróleo que comenzará en 2010, así como sus consecuencias para la economía.

Resumen: En la primera parte del ARI se marcan las pautas del documento, examinando las tendencias de los indicadores económicos clave para Ghana desde la década de 1990 hasta ahora. Se señala que, aunque la economía ha experimentado considerables avances, sigue siendo frágil y persisten las desigualdades. En la segunda parte se examinan los ingresos previstos de la producción de petróleo y sus consecuencias para la economía. Se calcula que los ingresos que obtendrá Ghana del petróleo se situarán, como mínimo, entre 1.200 millones y 2.500 millones de dólares en el periodo comprendido entre 2010 y 2012, cuando la producción alcanzará el máximo previsto de 250.000 barriles al día.…  Seguir leyendo »