Saturday, 16 October 2010

Tamale

01-03 October 2010
I left Kumasi to reach Tamale. It was my VSO Indian friend Raj who had been after me for visiting his place. I was planning to combine visiting Raj with some of the work which I was planning to do there. I felt really good that I have been placed in Ghana where there are many volunteers spread across many parts of the country and they are really welcoming to each other. This holds true for all the nationalities. Especially the four Indians, me, Raj, Rahul and Rose after touring in South Ghana together have become good friends.
The kind man Raj had come to receive me at Tamale bus station at the odd hour of 2:00 am. My morning was allotted for meeting an entrepreneur who specializes in processing of Guinea fowl. My interview with him however was disappointing as I had found information about him through internet. Raj traced his contact for me. I was really excited to meet him and make important discussion about helping farmers of the Upper East Region where I am working.
He was really very co-operative and knew lot of things about India. The man had earlier worked in the United States and returned to his home country with dreams of establishing big business. When I met him however he was talking about returning to the US to make some more money by doing some job over there. He was complaining about tough competition from the imported processed meat, lack of facilities provided by the government etc. There was also certainly some factors which had contributed to his failure, such as lack of proper assessment of market and mismanagement.
I found out that Tamale is a very traveller friendly city to get around. It is small compared Accra and Kumasi. There is not much of tourist interest in and around Tamale thought it is a major transportation hub for the Northern part of Ghana. The city is bustling. Majority of the population in the city is Muslim. It is called as NGO capital of Ghana as most of the international development agencies operating in Ghana have their offices here. NGO’s are there on almost every street and there is flood of signboards of them on the sides of the roads.
The next two days were spent visiting the market, meeting some Indian shop owners and Raj's friends, meeting newly came VSO volunteers and experiencing high speed internet café of Vodafone. The speed was really high and it was never experienced by me before even in India. There is some direct satellite link at this Vodafone cyber café. I found out that I felt that I had many things to do and very less time available with me. In reality, I had completed almost all of the planned tasks on the internet and seeing large number of new to do task list in front of me. "Making life faster and more stressed, that was the job of high speed internet," was my second thought.
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