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Climbing Ghana's economic ladder

ACCRA, Ghana — Sulemana Mohammed was destined to become a maize farmer like his parents, battling floods and droughts to eke out a living. Graduating top of his class didn’t assure placement in the public university because his family couldn’t afford the fees. His dream survived, however, because he had an alternative. The privately run Ashesi University College in Accra accepted him on scholarship and today the 26-year-old is an investment research analyst for Frontline Capital Advisors who pays his brother’s university fees.

Turning trash into fashion

ACCRA, Ghana — Quenching your thirst costs a few cents in Ghana’s capital city, where street vendors sell purified water in clear plastic bags. But environmental and public health costs are much higher. Empty sachets are tossed to the ground because there’s no comprehensive recycling program and few trash cans. The bags clog storm drains, which leads to flooding and increased risk of diseases like malaria.

StreetLife: Moscow — An African in Russia

Ghana's Muslims fear increased tensions

ACCRA, Ghana — Muslims in Ghana’s capital fear their reputation has been forever ruined by the Nigerian zealot who spent two weeks here before allegedly trying to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner on Dec. 25. They’re also concerned that investigators, who are questioning leaders in the heavily Muslim slum of Nima, will unearth a local connection to outside terrorist groups.

Opinion: Uganda should consult Ghana on oil

KAMPALA, Uganda — In 2009, Uganda discovered oil reserves in its side of the Lake Albert Rift Basin that could place it in the ranks of major African producers such as Chad and Equatorial Guinea. The oil discovery — optimistic estimates place it at 2 billion barrels — is just a fraction of the 36 billion barrels of proven reserves held by Nigeria, but it still means a windfall for Uganda. Almost immediately, the debate started — will the oil help Uganda develop, or will the country fall prey to Africa's resource curse?

Ghana promotes turtle tourism

ADA FOAH, Ghana — You don’t have to wait in line to watch sea turtles pull themselves onto shore to lay eggs, but you still need patience. Perhaps a flashlight, too. Fishing villages, wildlife officials and American researchers in Ghana have joined forces on an eco-tourism project that protects endangered turtles, creates jobs and gives visitors a chance to see one of the world’s most intriguing reptiles.

Reports: Nigerian's ticket bought in Ghana

Here are a few things to keep in mind about Ghana's connection to the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day. West Africa is a cash society. Very few people use credit cards. And there are wealthy Nigerians everywhere, and they spend cash, sometimes lavishly at restaurants, nightclubs and retail outlets. So while it would be odd in the U.S., for example, to drop $2,831 cash for an airline ticket, it's not here.

Ghana taxis display religious faith

ACCRA, Ghana — Public displays of religious devotion on Ghana’s roadways make “God is my co-pilot” bumper stickers in the United States look like the work of heathens. “Merciful God” adorns the rear windshield of the taxi taking you to the airport. “God is Great” is the message on the packed minibus taxi passing you at high speeds on narrow highways, making one wonder if the driver wants to prove his point.

Flu scare at Ghana school

One of Ghana's top private schools has been forced to shut down temporarily after 16 students were diagnosed with H1N1 influenza or “swine flu.”   All of the cases at the Lincoln Community School “are being successfully treated at home,” according to a Nov. 24 statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Accra.  

Ghana bets on lotto forecasters

ACCRA, Ghana — William Galley hasn’t always been a lottery “forecaster.” He used to lug concrete blocks around construction sites but he calls that work tedious. “I use my brain to forecast,” he said. Forecasters like Galley scratch out a living by trying to predict winning lottery numbers. It’s not quite the scam it appears to be. They believe, as do many players, that if they work hard to spot trends in past draws, they’ll be rewarded.
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