Children in Fishing village

This week Amanda Palmer and the crew have 48 hours to discover the bustling West African capital of Ghana, Accra.

Local radio presenter and political science student Bernice Akuamoah is our guide, who takes us on a journey into modern day Ghanaian life.

Ghana may be best known by outsiders as the first African colony to gain independence from British rule – the anniversary of which they celebrated this year - but for Ghanaians, their identity goes far beyond freedom from their colonial past. On this 48, we will explore Accra as only the locals know it.
In 1957 Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, announced his people would be "Free forever!" At that time, Ghana was one of the richest counties in the region with a flourishing education system and well-established structures of governance. But several power-hungry dictators and military coups later, living standards had plummeted, and by the late 1990s the average income had only just recovered to its pre-1960s level. 

Street Porters

Today there is much new hope. With a well-respected government and relatively new political stability, Nkrumah's proclamations may actually have a real chance. People are optimistic in and outside the country. We meet some of Bernice's friends, American-born Ghanaians whose parents left decades before for opportunities elsewhere. Now they have returned because of the improved political climate - they want to help rebuild their country and safeguard its future.

We find a country where education is free for all, and highly valued. At the University of Ghana where Bernice studies, we find a lecture hall packed with 1000 students and discover education is taken so seriously that if you do not early, you will not find a spare seat! 

Thursday Prayer session

On this 48 we also discover a deeply religious and predominantly Christian city, where family comes first. We visit the local markets to meet the 'kayayei' or street porters - the young women who scrape a living carrying back-breaking loads - and see what training is being provided to help them build new careers.

We talk to the fishermen who are improving their business skills and daily takings, by renting mobile phones. And we meet the local teenager footballers in Shaka FC who believe Chelsea's Michael Essien is not really the best player Ghana has to offer!  
But most memorably, we find Ghanaians have earned their fame for their warmth and hospitality, not to mention their excellent chicken soup, as prepared by Bernice's mother!

Watch this episode of 48 here:

Part One:

Part Two:

This episode of 48 aired from 07 July 2007 

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