Recently, our family decided to pay a visit to Lomé, Togo. Togo was never a place we considered moving too. However, after our visit to Ghana is seemed like the next moved would be to visit Ghana’s French speaking neighbor. Visiting a place is no way indicative of living in that place. Thus, our visit to Togo was one which we knew we would not be able to provide much insight on what life is like in Togo from a residence’s point of view. However, we used our time wisely and we acquired as much information as we could. When were arrived at the Ghana/Togo border, we were met with a warm welcome. The Togolese people are very helpful and friendly. People were patience with us and tried to help us overcome the language barrier. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a contact in Togo when we first arrived so we spent the first day trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. If we would have left it up to DJ, we would have ridden motorbikes all days and for the entire trip. On our second day
Language has the ability to divide or unite people! Colonizers stripped Africans of their native languages because they knew there was power in the ability to communicate. We were fully aware of the fact that most African countries still utilized the language of their colonizers but we believed that local languages were more commonly used than not. As we travel through West Africa we are starting to realize that French and English seem more like native languages versus secondary ones. Having a language barrier is fine when we are talking about people speaking their native African languages. However, we are starting to feel as if European languages have become a part of the norm. Those with a certain level of education and wealth seem to gravitate and hold on tightly to these languages rather than use their “mother tongue.” We have been told that if you speak French “well” you are looked at as some type of superior being as if those who don’t are mere peasants. Language and class-ism
Before moving to Ghana we were told, “Make a list of 100 ideas you have for doing business in Ghana and get to work.” However, the next line was, “all these ideas won’t pan out, so don’t get too excited.” There are many opportunities available for you to become your own boss if you choose to repatriate to Ghana or Africa in general. Africa has some of the fastest growing economies, therefore, starting a business on the continent is a great long term investment. No matter the sector you may want to venture into, the likelihood is that there is no company/person performing the service or selling the products you want to provide or there is room for competition/improvement. Ghana is no exception to the rule. During our stint in Accra and other regions, we observed several sectors that need investment. The only thing necessary is the capital to fund the idea, proper research, and a well thought out plan of execution. Because we advocate for group economics, we would say get a
Early in our repatriation process, we had the same question as almost everyone else trying to make the journey back to the motherland, “How are we going to generate income?” For most, it’s get a J.O.B. and work a typical 9 to 5 like we have become accustomed to in the US. For us, working for someone else was not an option anymore! With great planning and being extremely thrifty, a.k.a cheap, we saved a substantial amount of money to live on. Additionally, we created online businesses that would allow us to generate some money until we able to set up additional revenue streams. Before moving to Ghana, a friend of a friend share some extremely helpful information with us. She stated that she hadn’t worked in years because she figured out how to use Ghana’s banking institutions to her benefit. She had merely did what most Americans had once done in America to build wealth – invest in Treasury bills (T-bills) and fixed deposits or what we know in the states as CDs (cash deposits).
Nowadays, life in Ghana consists of using public transportation everyday. There was no way we were going to pay $5000 USD plus custom fees to ship our cars to Ghana. Living in Accra without a car, can definitely be done without issue but it isn't always easy. Traffic in Accra The trotro is the main form of transportation here in Ghana. It is basically a van that operates like a small bus to transport people through the city for an affordable price. These vans are the cheapest form of transportation usually costing between 1 and 4 cedis (less than $1 USD) per ride. We were told by many upon our arrival that taking the trotro was the best method for getting around. A repat stated we should take the trotro for a month to get to know the system. Its been over a month and we have been riding the trotro more so than any other form of transportation. However, it did not take a month for us to realize that public transportation, especially the trotro was not our friend! T