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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University of Ghana Admission Letter in Hand

Today was the day when I was formally invited to pursue a “course of study leading to the award of Doctor of Philosophy Degree in African Studies”.

The events leading up to me holding the very much desired letter in hand includes many drops of sweat (but only a few tears), numerous visits, phone calls and emails on my part since I applied for the program in March of 2009. I almost gave up in September, but finally did a presentation of my proposal in November and a few weeks ago got my first call back.

Since then, I have made three trips to the School of Graduate studies and today was the day! I feel content and anxious to get started.

For the first half of the program, I have secured funding through the generous Swedish Women’s organization SWEA, but as I am now admitted I should probably get to worrying about finding scholarships for the latter half.

Dear reader, any ideas?

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>PhD News

>Last Friday I got a phone call. It was late in the afternoon and I was in the Accra Mall stocking up for the weekend with a friend. I had to run into a quiet place because I thought I heard something like:


I was right. It was my first call back from the university. The message was short.

Please bring your birth certificate on Monday.

Here I have been waiting since March last year, or at least since November when I did my presentation, to hear back, and now they are giving me a weekend’s notice to produce my birth certificate. BIRTH CERTIFICATE.

Well, thanks to Sweden’s excellent governmental ICT services, I was there Monday morning with my certificate. Now it looks like I might be a PhD student very, very soon.

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