Back in Ghana or When I Met Kofi Annan

So my Swedish summer is over and I am back in Ghana with all that it entails. So far:

1. A Ghanaian wedding in which a vuvuzela played an important role.

“Do you take this… VUUUU! VUUUU!”

2. Getting the updates on our backyard farm from my husband.

“…And here we have tomatoes, watermelon, two kinds of plantain, cassava, paw-paw and there ginger. Don’t step on the pepper!”

3. A visit to the drivers licensing office, DVLA. I was there for an hour and did of course not get my license. I did however read an article about the corruption at the DVLA while I waited.

4. Returning to work where E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y greeted me whith a heartily:

“Akwaaba! How was your trip?”

5. A function at the University of Ghana where I, to my surprise, got the chance to pitch my research idea to Former Secretary General of UN  Kofi Annan.

“I am interested in why Ghanaian students leave this…” Kofi Annan interrupts me excitedly:


“Yes, exactly, this wonderful country”. When he found out I was married here in Ghana to a Ghanaian he and his Swedish wife Nane Annan smiled and said a warm “congratulations!”

Yes, I am back in Ghana! This wonderful country!

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  1. Kajsa, I don’t know if you’ve tried asking those of us who left Ghana. I also don’t think people like Kofi Annan will ever give you a straight answer. Ghanaians in any official capacity will either feign ignorance, or change the subject to something else. No one will come out and tell you that their failed leadership and lack of opportunities is why most of us who could leave, left (roughly 80% of my class of about 260 from 1995 now live abroad). Now, that’s just 1 class from 15 years ago.

  2. Hi Mike,
    Actually, quite some research has gone in to asking the Kofi Annan’s (and others like yourself) why they have left and they have answered along the lines which you indicated, i.e. lack of opportunities. My research is a bit different as I plan to ask contemporary students how they think around emigration. Is their reasoning different from yours? Considering much has happened in Ghana since 1995, or indeed since the 60ies when Annan first left Ghana.

    Thanks for reading my blog!