Ghana is located in West Africa and has with around 29 million inhabitants doubled its population in the last 28 years. In the southern part of Ghana, the country borders on the Atlantic Ocean. Ghana's capital Accra is located in the coastal region, which nowadays attracts some tourists from all over the world. Another megacity is Kumasi, which is about 60km away from Abofour in the Ashanti region. It is the capital of the largest Ghanaian population, the Ashantis.
Ghana is a multi-ethnic state enriched with as many languages as ethnic groups. Besides the 78 different languages like Dangme or Krobo, English as a remnant of the colonial period by England is still the official language today.
About 72% of the population belong to Christianity, but the Islam and other religions also find their place in the culture of Ghana.
Life expectancy in the country is 62.4 years. This makes Ghana have the second highest in West Africa. Although the infant mortality rate of 5.1% and the neonate mortality rate of 3.6% are still very high compared to the western world, and 50% of the population is under 16 years old, the hygienic conditions and the medical care of Ghana were improved in the last years with investments of the government.
Most Ghanaians live in big families. This offers mutual financial support as well as cohesion. On the other hand, a family member often has to share his whole salary with the family and even children have to contribute to the financing of the family at an early age. Thus the school attendance of children is associated with two problem : On the one hand the high school fees that families cannot always afford and on the other hand, with every child attending the family loses one person that could potentially work and earn money. Thus, despite the existing 9-year compulsory schooling, some or even all children are denied school attendance.
According to the IMF, the gross national product (GNP) was on 86th place worldwide in 2016 with 43.264 billion €. Agriculture accounts for around 21% of the total GNP, with more than half of the population working in agriculture and fishing, often in the sense of subsistence farming.
In recent years, Ghana's government has succeeded in increasing the average income of approximately 1 US dollar per person per day sixfold in 2013 by investing in economic development.
Ghana's culture is very diverse, colourful and exciting, not least because of its different ethnic groups. Besides the traditional food, Ghana is also characterised by its traditional music and clothing.
Typical Ghanaian dishes are e.g. Jollofrise or the national dish Fufu, which is prepared from manioc and plantains. It is served with a sauce or soup which is classically spiced hot.
On the streets of Ghana one rarely finds one- coloured clothes. Rather, Ghanaians wear very colourful dresses with different patterns. The music is also lively and invites you to sing and dance along.
Abofour is a village in the Ashanti region and about 20 minutes by car from Offinso, and 60 minutes from Kumasi. The population is 25.000 more than half of which belong to the ethnic group of the Ashantis.
Abofour has its own police station, petrol station, several churches, shops, stalls and schools and is therefore a node for many villages around Abofour. Especially the market, which takes place every Thursday is one of Ghana's largest markets invites many farmers to sell their harvest every week. Besides fruits and vegetables you will find everything you need - clothes, animals, jewellery, electronics and so on.
The streets in Abofour are mostly asphalted and therefore easy to drive on.
Kwapanin and Asuboi are two villages that can be reached via a gravel road from Abofour. For around 10km to Kwapanin and further 15km to Asuboi you need at least one hour by car. Especially in the rainy season the gravel road is sometimes hardly passable.
One child from Kwapanin once told us that he walks to school every day because buses can't cross the road. The villages are therefore very isolated. Both villages have schools. In Asuboi the government payed for the construction of a Medical Center for first aid a few years ago. However, it is very difficult to find workers such as midwives and nurses for these posts or teachers for the school at site. Therefore there is no medical care in Asuboi and because of the difficult access to Abofour’s Heath Center people often lack medical advice and treatment.
A program of the state obligates some graduates to fill the teaching positions in Kwapanin and Azuboi for one year. When asked, the teachers told us that hardly anyone would stay in the village beyond this year.
In Kwapanin there is no mobile phone network, the electricity is often out of order, there are almost exclusively self-supporters living here, as there are almost no shopping facilities.
Our midwife and nurse scholarships will therefore also have to complete a compulsory year in the Medical Center in Asuboi in the future in order to be able to guarantee medical care there as well.