Gold mining might have become a booming industry in resource-rich Ghana, raking in billions of dollars every year, but that wealth has failed to trickle down to many of the country's rural poor who live on the land where the gold is mined from.
In 1979, Jarreth Merz, then a young boy in Ghana, saw the dramatic results of a military coup. Watching on an old black and white television set, he and a group of his friends witnessed one of the nation's generals being blindfolded and shot to death by a firing squad. Shortly afterward, his family fled the instability of Ghana and returned to his native Switzerland.
Dubbed "Ghana's Bob Marley," reggae sensation Rocky Dawuni is known not only for bringing his upbeat vibe to audiences across the world, but also for promoting social issues through his extensive humanitarian work.
Ghana is doing extremely well by African standards. Of course "by African standards" means there are dirt roads leading past the brand-new, gold-columned presidential palace, and it seems 1 percent of the country is blowing their country's GDP at bars with $50 cover charges while the other 99 is selling bags of water at stop lights. They have huge mineral reserves and lots of foreign money invested in their extraction, all of which ends up concentrated in the hands of the president, his cabinet, and whichever of their cousins they're getting along with at the time.
Have you ever been able to appreciate -- or even to celebrate -- the team that just beat yours? Last June, when Ghana's Asamoah Gyan scored in extra time to eliminate the U.S. from the World Cup, my 5-year-old turned to me and said: "At least the people in Ghana are happy."
Attending training sessions at the World Cup tends to be an exercise in observing paranoia, as the media is shuffled away after 15 minutes of watching suspicious players engage in desultory stretching exercises.
The Senate voted to apologize for slavery on June 18. The House apologized last summer. The first family -- descendants of Africans, of enslaved Africans and of slave-holders -- visited a slave fort in Ghana.
A street vendor in Ghana's capital sells small American flags with an image of President Obama on them, in front of a billboard that proclaims "Akwaaba" -- or "Welcome" -- next to a smiling image of the U.S. leader.
Supporters of democracy around the world can celebrate the January 7 inauguration of Ghana's new president, professor John Evans Atta Mills, who defeated the leader of the incumbent party in a December 28 runoff election by a mere 41,566 votes out of 9,001,478.
ACCRA, Ghana -- Manuel "Junior" Agogo is making a name for himself. A career journeyman who has made stops in England's lower leagues, and even Major League Soccer, Agogo has become a national hero in Ghana with his inspired performances here at the African Cup of Nations.
ACCRA, Ghana -- The Ghanaian national team practices at the Elwak, a small stadium on a military base. Presumably, the army teams play here, while their generals watch from the leather recliners in the south stand. The grass is overgrown, like all the fields in Ghana, but the field is smooth and there's a tall, barbed-wire wall around the complex to keep the riffraff out.
The son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he is sorry he misused his father's name to save more than $20,000 on a Mercedes SUV he had shipped to his native Ghana. Now, eight years later, he's looking to make things right.