Ghana Story
The New Ghana
Congress Flashback
Special Projects
Radio Interview
Photo Gallery
Yearbook Memories
Tour Operators Union

Ghana Story- Introduction
Photos 1 - Cape Coast Castles
Photos 2 - Kente Weavers
Photos 3 - Ceremony
Photos 4 - Roadside Commerce
Photos 5 - Tour Sites
Photos 6 - Ghana Fashion
Photos 7 - Bead Making Art
Photos 8 - Slave River

Photos 1 - Congress Activities
Photos 2 -More Activities
Photos 3 - Gala Events
Photos 4 - ATA Trade Show
Photos 5 - Delegates
Photos 6 - Fashion Show


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Ghana Royalty welcomes ATA World Congress delegates at Elmina. Photo by Muguette Goufrani.

Discover Ghana and get to know its people 

There is a place on the western coast of the African. continent; its sandy shores washed clean by the Atlantic Ocean, its land rich in gold, diamonds cocoa, manganese and bauxite; inhabited by the friendliest, most open hearted people you'll find any where on earth. Its tropical rain-forest, blends with river valleys and dry Savannah plains, to create 250,000 square km of paradise for the lovers and watchers of nature's wonders. It's no accident that Ghana was once known as the 'Gold Coast,' a name bestowed on it by Portuguese traders who landed there in 1472. The legendary gold deposits of Ashante remain the world's richest and largest. A desire to control this great wealth saw a fierce struggle by European nations for the heart and soul of this land. This period shaped unique traditions, unknown in any other part of Africa. Ghana, for years, has enjoyed a peaceful political environment, with one of Africa's most pragmatic governments. It moves into the new millennium inspired by the legacy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the nation's founder and foremost leader of Pan Africanism. His remains are in a mausoleum not far from the sun baked beaches of Accra, Ghana's capital.

Business and Environment Sucess Stories
Ghana Ashanti Coronation Ceremonies

The country's tourist offerings are awesome. First and foremost, the people - over 70 per cent of whom have functional skills in English, official language of government and commerce. Ghanaians have a very special way of delivering a most assuring and comforting welcome. "Akwaaba", the traditional greeting, is very polite and courteous. Friendly smiles and an open invitation await you each step of the way, as you travel the length and breadth of this splendid land. A high premium is placed on security of life and property, thereby giving Ghana one of the world's lowest crime rates. Over 90 ethnic groups, each having a distinctive festival, means you could attend a cultural extravaganza virtually every week. A deep spiritual connectedness lies behind the color, pomp and pageantry of August's Homowo festival by the Gas, September's Fetu Afahye by the Fantes, Aboakyir Festival by the Efutus, Hogbetsotso by the Anlos, Odwira by the Akwapims, and Dambai by the Dagombas.

Elmina and Cape Coast castles: Scattered along Ghana's Atlantic Coast are 26 historic stone and concrete structures, built over 400 years ago by the Europeans . Originally intended as trading posts, they ended up as slave dungeons for millions of Africans, captured and forced into slavery. Many dungeons have been restored to their original form, as testimonials to the drama and tragedy of human encounter. The slave castles of Elmina (above) and Cape Coast, are two recently designated as World Heritage monuments. Together with the Dubois Memorial Center for Pan African Culture in Accra, they crystallize the African experience of slavery, partition, colonialism, racism and the struggle for independence, emancipation and human rights.

Home Away From Home: Over 600 hotels provide courteous service that reflects the near legendary hospitality and traditions of Ghanaians. Government incentives have fueled a boom in privately owned tourist infrastructure. About 40 per cent of the country's hotel capacity is in Accra, which also has most of the 3 to 5 star hotels. The Labadi Beach Hotel, Golden Tulip, Novotel and Wangara are popular choices. Shangri La in Accra, Sanaa Lodge and the Savoy, all in Cape Coast, are known for their superior guest service. Most hotels are located within sights of picturesque beachheads and landscapes, or flush in the center of the host city's business and commercial distinct. Novotel, an outstanding five star hotel of sheer luxury, is minutes away from the Accra International Conference Center, National Theater, Ghana Stock Exchange, Bank of Ghana, Government Ministries Complex and the historic 'Makola Market,' which offers a distinctively African experience in the art of trade by higgling and haggling.

Sunshine, Beaches and Greenery: Close to 600 km of unspoiled sun drenched beaches, shaded by tall coconut trees, await the traveler who desires to soak in the sun of tropical Africa. Ghana is a beach lover's paradise, with 12 hours of bright sunshine all year round. Sports fishing from indigenous canoes, or visiting historic castles along the coast by boat, (especially on clear moonlit nights) is a trip into wonderland. Few places in the world can compare with the beauty of Ghana's natural environment. The Mole Game Reserve in Northern Ghana provides a thrilling encounter with rare, exotic birds, bush cows, reptiles, baboons, hippopotamus, elephants, antelopes and the lion, king of the jungle, The Kakum National Park has Africa's only canopy walkway, (fourth highest in the world) that enables the more adventurous to enjoy the panoramic view of indigenous flora and fauna as they literally walk among tree tops reaching heights of over 40 meters. Then there's the Aburi Botanical Gardens, tucked away in the cool mountains of Akuapem, near Accra. Built over 100 years ago, Aburi's well-kept plant reserve provides a soothing venue for research and relaxation. A visit to Boti Waterfalls, framed by a rainbow after each rainfall, and the Wli and Kintampo, provides a sobering appreciation nature's wonders.

Seventeen million people, whose home is this land of legends and traditions, live by a remarkable cultural code of conduct. Alongside growing modernization and a sensible governmental approach to development, many ancient African traditions and crafts flourish. To find this land is to find natural beauty, century old trades, like goldsmithing, advanced indigenous political systems, colorful festivals, and a fusion of vibrant music and dance, drawn from over 90 ethnic groups. Ghana is a melting pot, where many African ethnic cultures have mixed with numerous European influences, to produce a fascinating assortment of the best traditions of hospitality and architectural legacy.

A Taste of West Africa: Restaurant dining provides a comforting serving of typical American, Continental or oriental cuisine for the discriminating traveler and equally delicious assortment of local courses for the bold and adventurous. The Golden Tulip Hotel is especially famous for its variety of foods especially made for special occasions; New Year's Day Brunch, Mothers and Valentine Days Dinner - and believe it or not, Balkan Festival Dinner, when Hungarian and Rumanian delicacies are served.

Flashback: Ghana Ashanti Coronation Ceremonies
Story and Photos by the late Eunice Rawlings

eunice and ellenAs a prelude to the 1999 Congress in Ghana, four of us from the ATA SoCal Chapter planned a tour to the Ashanti Kingdom. Arriving in Ghana, we were met by Alfred of Expert Travel & Tours who asked us "How would you like to attend the Enstoolment of the new King of the Ashanti?" Jet lag was instantly replaced by anticipation! We arrived in Kumasi on the eve of the Coronation. The official name of the ceremony is an Enstoolment. The Golden Stool is the great symbol one might say "soul" of the Ashanti nation, and each Asantehene is placed on the stool as a culmination of the enstoolment ceremonies.

Editor's note: Two ATA members from the USA, Elyse White and Freddye Henderson, were enstooled in the last two years. Photos: Above (left to right): Ellen Posell, ATA SoCal Board member, Screenwriter Avery Williams, Marlene Davis & Eunice Rawlings, ATA SoCal Board members.


Asantehene Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, passed away in February 1999 and the nation went into deep mourning. He had ruled his nation for 29 years. Now, in May, here we were in Kumasi as history was being made. The morning ceremony was staged in the main square amidst a huge crush of happy Ghanaians, on the street, on balconies and on rooftops. Miraculously, Alfred managed to arrange for us to sit in the VIP seats along with the Ashanti chiefs, their ladies, Papal representatives in their red and white regalia and government officials from around the world.

Coronation: The atmosphere was electric with dancing, singing and the rhythmic throbbing of the drums that finally reached a crescendo when the chosen one, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was carried into the square in his palanquin. Surrounded by his entourage and dripping in gold, the soon to be enstooled Asantehene was most definitely regal. The effect was pure magic. When these proceedings were over we were swept down the main street in a tide of happy citizens . We had a great time dancing, talking and celebrating with them. In the afternoon the Asantehene and all the Ashanti chiefs were introduced to the population at large. Alfred found us a perch in the press-box that commanded a great view of the huge athletic stadium. It was filled with joyous admirers from the bleachers to the edge of the running track where each chiefdom was its own little village.

The brightly colored Kente or Adinkra cloth generally worn gave way to black woven damask, the official dress for special ceremonies. The women all wore black with touches of deep red. The effect was as dramatic as it was elegant! Deafening explosions emanating from a series of well placed pipe bombs and ancient muskets made clouds of smoke that heralded the arrival of the procession of chiefs in their palanquins shaded by brightly covered, richly decorated umbrellas. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made his entry and the procession slowly snaked its way across the Stadium for all the world ~ our world at that moment, to embrace. The four of us, Marlene Davis, Ellen Posell, Avery Williams and I, all agreed that this had been one of the most memorable days of our lives.

Ghana: Thanks for the Memories
Years before I flew with Ghana Airways, or even set foot in West Africa, I had met many Ghanaians and found them to be one of the most outgoing, friendly races of people on the planet. Like many frequent travelers, I heard people say that "Ghana was the smile on the face of Africa." This was confirmed by two weeks in the country at the historic ATA-WTO World Congress in Accra. We were impressed by President Rawling's message, and the way Accra has prepared for the new millennium with an infrastructure of wide highways, overpasses and boulevards. We saw buildings, stadia and convention facilities that any developed nation would be proud of. The sights we saw and folks we met would fill volumes; the village of Koforidua at the Durbar ceremonies; the magnificent Cape Coast (a future Mecca for retirees); the Kakum National Forest, with its 6 swinging bridges. Historic Kumasi with its king's palace and Kente cloth weavers was unforgettable . Small wonder we kept running out of film for the camera..

Business and Environment Sucess Stories

An Eco success story of international proportions involves Mamsco, a Ghana-based company which has been developing a major project step-by-step for the past 10 years. Recognized at the highest government levels and leaders of ECOWAS, the project has grown to include many West African Countries. Hon. J. A. Kufour , President of Ghana (left) extends greetings to Mr. Martin Asomoah-Manu, Executive Director of Mamsco Marketing International Ltd. in appreciation of the company's Waste Stock Exchange Management Systems (WSEMS). The company's copyright involves the processing of marine and land-based sources of waste oil into residual oil products. We were impressed with the following excerpt from Mamsco's Business Plan.

• The WORLD should not expect the EARTH to produce more.
• The WORLD must do more with what the EARTH has produced.
• WASTE is nothing but potential RAW MATERIALS currently located at the wrong place.
• WASTE of Company A can become the RAW MATERIAL of Company B.

The WSEMS program operates on the four-R Principles of Waste Management:

Re... cover

Re ... cycle

Re ... use

Re ... duce

Full story and photos to come on the company's pilot project ; a Waste Oil Treatment Plant at the Tema Port facility near Accra, Ghana. For details: mamsco50@hotmail.com

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