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Accra’s Creative Scene: Building a Locally-Driven Cultural Capital

It is an exciting moment to be in the city of Accra. Local artists and members of the Foundation for Contemporary Art, Ghana partnered with the Akumajaye community in Ga Mashie to paint a community seating area. For some time now, there has been a locally driven, independent creative movement manifesting itself through the arts,…

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The Unsustainable Illegalization of Street Hawkers (and, What are Some Real Solutions?)

In September 2010, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly passed the “Street Hawking Bye-laws, 2011,” which outlined eight prohibitions pertaining to street vending (known locally as “hawking”), littering, soliciting alms, juvenile delinquency and promotional activities on roads and public spaces in Accra, with the bye-laws intended to go into effect on April 1 of this year. Nearly…

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Fire at Osu’s Oxford Street Destroys Shops, Attracts Crowds, Demonstrates Accessibility Constraints

The recent fire that ravaged shops, homes and offices just off of Oxford Street, a popular tourist destination in Accra’s Osu neighborhood, took an estimated three hours to bring under control. Why? Because of the inefficiencies and unpreparedness of fire service personnel (who arrived late, allegedly with empty tanks), the large crowds of both Ghanaians…

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Gains from Tourism Demonstrate Key Industry Potential

In 2010, tourism in Ghana generated over $1.8 billion in revenues (6.2 percent of GDP) and created nearly 300,000 jobs within the country, according to the Tourism Minister Akua Sena Dansua. That said, while tourism is currently the fourth largest industry for foreign exchange earnings in Ghana, there are key areas for potential to strengthen…

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Afternoon at Jamestown Pier

Jamestown, one of Accra’s oldest districts and the indigenous home to the Ga people, is one of the city’s most densely culturally and historically rich areas. Traditionally a fishing community, this economic activity continues to play a central role in the livelihood of many of the community. A Saturday excursion to the Jamestown pier, from…

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“So-Called Low-Cost Housing”

Just came across some video clips of the Belgian/French film C’est arrive près de chez vous/It happened in your neighborhood (Man Bites Dog). In the clip below, Benoît, the main character, discusses the aesthetic problems surrounding “so-called low-cost housing,” and how the design contributes to negative community characteristics, including violence. His question: “How can you…

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