July 25, 2009

Choolips: Fair trade fashion in Top Shop London!

We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read Choolips: Fair trade fashion in Top Shop London! there.

My friend Annegret Affolderbach of Choolips has just released her new line of gorgeous fair trade fashion ware into Top Shop London. Since winning the Design 4 Life Ghana competition in 06/07 (by the way, the photos in this link are at Cape Coast Castle) Annegret's line of fair trade fashion has gone from strength to strength. I can vouch that these dresses were produced with dedication to fair trade principles--Annegret collaborated with the indefatigable Julie, a Global Mamas (Cape Coast) batiker, sweat (it's hot work running between batikers in Ghana), and an eye for how to bridge African/European design aesthetics to meet the British market's tastes. It's wonderful to have witnessed someone's dedication at the design/sample development stage (she was sketching and refining day and night) in Ghana translate into products on the floor of a major London retailer. Kudos to Top Shop for once again taking on fair trade fashion from Ghana!


You can read the whole story at Tree Hugger:

We love hearing about green success stories, and here's a good one. Two years ago TreeHugger had a post about a design contest that would link up young designers with producers in Ghana to create clothing trendy enough to be sold at the British high street stores. The prize was the manufacturing and sale of the dresses at Topshop. The winner was Annagret Affolderbach and to her delight, the dresses sold out within days.

Well now Annagret has come back with her own little company, Choolips, and her new line is coming out at Topshop next month. The great looking series of 3 dress styles is made of 100% Ghanaian Fairtrade cotton, and is sewn by local workers there who are paid a very decent living wage.

July 13, 2009

Cross-cultural relationships

We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read Cross-cultural relationships there.

I wrote a story for the "My Partner is a Foreigner" part of Pocket Cultures, a great site which seeks to "be a place to find out about different countries and world cultures: personal observations and accounts of daily life, articles and interesting projects related to countries and cultures of the world."

Here is a small excerpt:
"Godwin: “Who is this Elvis?”
Me: “Elvis Presley.”
Godwin: “Who?”
Me: “You know, Ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog…”
Godwin: “I do not know.”
Me: “Really? You’ve not heard of Elvis?”
Godwin: “No.”

The thing that still bewilders me is that ideas, experiences and perceptions that seem to have been hard-wired from birth—from Elvis to expressions like “pulling my leg”—have virtually no frame of reference in my life here."
You can read the whole story here.

July 11, 2009

Elmina


We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read Elmina there.

Reading through Obama-related blog chatter, I came across a perfect picture of Elmina, my former home (and village that frightened the pants off me the first time I walked through) here.
I was a bit taken aback when I read: "The fishing habour at the foot of Elmina Castle, a former slave centre President Barack Obama will visit during during his 24-hour visit to Ghana."

He visited Cape Coast Castle. Anyway. Feeling nostalgic.

BPO in Ghana

We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read BPO in Ghana there.

And here is an excerpt from a Global Voices round-up of blogs about the announcement of an agreement to further establish Ghana as a leading business outsourcing destination (BPO) in Africa. I bet you didn't know that NYC parking tickets are processed in Ghana...

"Few know that A.T.Kearney rated Ghana as sub-Saharan Africa's number one Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) destination in 2005 and, as of June 2009, the
nation’s achievements in this field look set to continue. Several bloggers
reported on an agreement signed in early June between two leading ICT
organisations that will provide unprecedented opportunities for ICT students,
create thousands of jobs, and underpin the growth of this nascent
industry."

For example, Fusion is a well-known BPO company.

More interest in Obama's visit

We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read More interest in Obama's visit there.

I was also surprised and chuffed to see the "reactions to the announcement of Obama's visit" post quoted at a US Government site, By The People:
"There’s a lot of speculation and excitement ahead of the president’s visit,
says Gayle Pescud, a blogger for
Global
Voices
who lives in Ghana. Since Obama’s trip was announced in May,
Pescud writes, “from street traders, to young urban professionals, to the newly
elected members of parliament, the chatter was all about one thing.”

More to come on President Obama's visit at GV shortly.

Global Voices: Interview with YPWC Founder

We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read Global Voices: Interview with YPWC Founder there.

If you ever wonder what technology can do to bring people together throughout the developing and developed world, you may want to read my interview at Global Voices with Michael Boampong, the founder of YPWC. Here is an excerpt:
I had an opportunity to interview Mr Michael Boampong, the Executive
Director of
Young People We Care, based in Kumasi, Ghana. YPWC is no ordinary NGO and Michael is no ordinary young man, by anyone's standards. Operated by young people, for young people, YPWC exploits new media to create links with like-minded individuals and organisations around the world to enhance opportunities for young people here in Ghana.

July 4, 2009

Eating Joints: Food in Accra

We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read Eating Joints: Food in Accra there.

I came across Karen Grepin's fantastic post while searching for alternative places to find a real--not the ubiquitous pretender Nescafe--cup of coffee in Accra.
1. Cafes with real coffee: After a few weeks of Ivoirian nescafe I begin to really crave a good cup of coffee. Cuppa Cappuccino in airport residential area (across from the WHO or the lavender lodge) is my little heaven in Accra. I am usually found here every Saturday when I am in town. They serve coffee, lattes, cappuccinos and some might tasty shakes (I really like chocolate banana). They also have lovely sandwiches with ham, avocado, tomato, and other good stuff. Melting Moments in Labone is also a really good cafe.
Her post on best eats around Accra is worth a look. Go check it out.
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