Thursday, 10 July 2008

Good news from Africa

Africa's economic growth seems relatively untouched by the credit crunch, according to this upbeat assessment on But the same site recently covered a much more downbeat story on Africa's political scene presented by the World Bank's latest report on African politics, where the most resource-rich countries in Africa are fingered as the most corrupt and politically screwed up. Some of those emerging from disastrous conflicts, however – for example Liberia and Rwanda – are witnessing huge improvements in good governance.

1 comment:

  1. After attending the Kinsey Museum it brought me about to my experience in Ghana after working in an orphanage and visiting the Cape Coast Castle.
    I was going home for the first time. I arrived in Accra, Ghana, on Dec.15, 2009 and had come to Africa to work with orphans in Nkwanta, a village in the Volta Region of Ghana.
    There were vendors on every corner, crowds of people anticipating to cross the street when the stop light turned red, oversized advertisement billboards and sky scrapers that kissed the blue sky, Accra reminded me of New York City. I arrived in Nkwanta after a long nine-hour drive on dirt roads and was greeted on the pitch black night by my program coordinator and the eldest male orphan.
    This was routine for me until I left for Cape Coast and to visit “The Door of No Return.” Before entering, I had been warned of the effect it may have on me — sorrow, anger and disbelief. I was numb.
    “This is the chamber where the men who rebelled were kept,” my tour guide told me. They were left to die. They would not empty the chamber until the last man died. The smell of death, ancestral spirits from the fresh salt water lingered in the air.
    For 23 hours a day, the slaves were held hostage in the chambers until the ship for the new world arrived. They lived and slept in urine, vomit and feces, while brushing off the bodies of those who did not survive before they were escorted through the “Door.”
    I smelled a combination of each substance every time I inhaled. It was important for me to humanize the victims and put myself in their shoes; it was also hard. The reality of standing in the very spot where an ancestor had taken his or her last breath was difficult to muster —still is.
    The tour ended when the group of 34 tourists went through The Door of No Return. “Over 50 percent of the slaves did not make it to the new world,” the tour guide said. Still numb, I said a silent prayer.
    The line in Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise, “I am the hope and the dream of the slave,” manifested within me. I exited the Cape Coast castle with a sense of debt that was impossible to pay.