My first ‘Akwaaba’ experience in Ghana!

Staying in Ghana for about one week has already left a big mark on me.

It is like visiting a completely different world although it is only about nine hours away from my home country, Germany, by plane.

This article deals with my first impressions of Ghana so far – exemplified by my visit to the Kaneshie market in Accra.

My first experience in that market was a real cultural shock. In comparison, Kaneshie market is quite the opposite of what we have in Germany. Fish and raw meat are exposed under the blazing sun without any protection from the heat, dust and flies. This would be inconceivable in Germany, where the meat and the fish are most of the time refrigerated and protected from insects.

Another aspect of the market, which you first need to get used to, is the bargaining that goes on there – and every other market here, as I have learnt. In Germany we are used to fixed prices which you have to pay and which are equal for every customer.

But perhaps, what I find most frightening about Kaneshie market in particular and Ghana in general is the rubbish that is everywhere. There seems to be an indiscriminate littering and dumping of refuse anywhere. In Germany there are bins almost on every street corner for easy and appropriate disposal of litter.

Besides, the trash is separated into plastic, paper, organic and residual waste, which is then picked up from the garbage collection point to the refuse incineration plant. Most of the garbage, for example paper or plastic, is recycled, which benefits the environment.

The recovery of useful material in the recycling process in Germany is about 79.3%.

Instructively, only about 2% of plastic waste – I learned – gets recycled in Ghana, whereas in Germany, 46% of plastic waste is recycled into raw material for other processes and 53% is used to generate energy.

Ghana appears to me as a very colorful and therefore beautiful country. The people are very friendly, helpful and much more open than in Germany. Ghanaians seem to have no hurry in life, which is quite relaxing for a person like me who is used to the stress and hurry in Germany.

Although nearly everything appears new and unusual to me, it is exciting observing how Ghanaians live and how they handle their daily challenges.

By Lena Dunkelmann

The writer is doing her internship with Goldstreet Business