Seven Photos of the Revolution in Burkina Faso

It has all the ingredients of a proper revolution: president shuffled abroad, media outlets overtaken, parliament ablaze and military seen on the streets of the capital. But it is the photos of the people that really convinces me it is indeed a revolution!

Here are my favourite seven photos shared on social media today.

https://storify.com/kajsaha/photos-of-the-revolution-in-burkina-faso

Do You Believe in Witchcraft?

If you do and you live in Ghana, you are not alone.

According to a recent survey carried out by Gallup, three out of four (or 77%) of Ghanaians believe in Witchcraft.

Only Ivory Coast (with a staggering 95% ) and Senegal (with four out of five) have larger shares of the population suggested to be witchcraft believers. Mali, Cameroon and the DR Congo has around the same levels as Ghana. The average for Sub-Saharan Africa is around 55%. Surprisingly, to me at least, Nigeria came out under average with less than half a population believing in witches. Rwanda and Uganda being the only countries in the sample in which less than 20% answered yes to the question: Do you personally believe in witchcraft?

I just threw myself over this survey. The aspect of witchcraft is a very intriguing one for a westerner moving to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Intrestingly, the Ghanaian witch does not have a pointed black hat and a cat that talks, nor does she need a broom to fly and need not wait until Halloween before she comes out. No, the Ghanaian witch lives close to you and me and can cause harm to anyone she – or he – wants to hurt. Diseases, deaths and ill fates are often blamed on a malicious witch.

In Ghana, the absolutely worst thing you can call anyone is “a witch” (well, apart from stupid, but that is a different blog post). Read this post by Nana Kofi Acquah on a street quarrel. I have also heard people talk about meeting witches, witches casting curses and occasionally lifting them, see for instance this recent account by fellow blogger AntiRhythm on a curse over a lost mobile phone.

Also, the newspapers report regularly about witches flying here and there. Last time I remember reading about witches in the news it was a witch from the Volta region who had mysteriously found himself landing on a house roof in Ashaiman, close to Tema where I live. A few years ago, reports on a witch conference taking place in Kumasi, Ghana spurred on newspaper Daily Guide to suggest the following:

The numerous road accidents, boat disasters, floods in the north, gas explosions in Kumasi and collapse of buildings that the country has witnessed in recent months may not be for nothing.

A global meeting of witches, currently underway in Ghana, is targeting thousands of lives through fatal road and other accidents.

So the accidents on our roads and floods in the north are due do a 2007 conference of witches? Let me tell you that these have not really subsided after the conference was over and done with…

On a more serious note, in Ghana there are sadly a need (?) for enclosed areas for witches or “witch camps”, predominately for women who have been named witches by their community. For more info on this, read this account about life in Gambaga Witch Camp or this insightful and frightening article about What Makes a Woman a Witch? by writer Yaba Badoe.  Recently the plight of those women have been recognized, for instance by SOSYWEN and Stop Witch Trials.

The GALLUP survey also suggest that witchcraft believers live worse lives than those who do not believe. Of course, that seems plausible but possibly with a spurious or false relationship, with education for instance being the real explanatory factor. But when I look at the presented numbers, I wouldn’t say that there is really much of a difference in percieved living standards between witchcraft believers and non-believers.

Those who believe in witchcraft rate their lives at a 4.3 on average, while those who do not believe or don’t have an opinion rate their lives higher on the scale, at 4.8 on average.

Is it very marginal, or am I not getting it right?

Anyway, this survey gives me scientific proof of something I already knew: that  most people in Ghana do believe in witches.

So, do you? And why?

Gallup Reveals the Secret Behind Few Africans Banking

Few people in Africa have bank accounts. In Ghana, just like the sub-Saharan African region over all,  it is 19%, but it varies from 49% in South Africa and 1% in Congo/Kinshasa and Niger.

So why do not Africans go to the bank and open an account?

Gallup includes the answer to this question in their report Few in Sub-Saharan Africa Have Money in a Bank:

“Two-thirds say the lack of money is the main reason why they don’t have accounts.”


What a shocker.

Read the whole Gallup report here! And/or read more Ghana related Gallup news!

>Ghanaian Blogger at COP15

> I can proudly announce that our own Ghanablogging member MacJordan landed in Denmark on Sunday to cover the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen (COP 15). See his account of his first day at here.

The climate meeting which has been going on for a week and culminates on Friday has already been given a lot of attention in media. We have heard about African countries wanted to be compensated financially, the west roaring back that it was just the corrupt African leaders that wanted cash, then came a leak in some countries pre-writings and then EU announced money will be given…Earlier today, I even heard accounts of “chaos” in the corridors in Copenhagen and arrests of hundreds of protesters…more drama than the average afternoon soap-opera?

Who in the world can we trust to give us the truth?

I know I will turn to my man MacJordan for updates. He will be reporting on his blog and on Global Voices.

Pic: Climate changes will very likely affect the West African shorelines.

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