From learning our Ghanian names (mine is Kweko since I was born on a Wednesday) to understanding how Ghanaians feel about colonization and independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, our education in Ghana is slowly evolving.

The folks we have met feel that independence came prematurely. Because of this, Ghana has had a hard time developing. For example, the very rocky road we traveled to get to the countryside of the eastern region was built during British rule, but hardly maintained since that time. For our friends born here, the existence of such a rural road on route to see the Abako (largest tree in West Africa), was appreciated. But each bump was a reminder of something that was lost when the black star of independence made it on the flag in 1957. One of my favorite media scholars, MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman and founder of Ghanaian-based startups, talks about Ghana’s difficult transition from an agricultural to industrial economy:

Ghana, blessed with natural and cultural riches, has been slow to develop economically. Economists who study the reasons why nations become rich or poor are fond of pointing out that in 1957 (the year Ghana gained independence from the United Kingdom), South Korea and Ghana had roughly the same per capita income. Thirty years later, South Korea was a middle-income nation on it so way to becoming a manufacturing powerhouse, whereas Incomes in Ghana had actually fallen. (Zuckerman 204)

It’s been just a few days here and we agree with Zuckerman on the natural and cultural riches.

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And now, find your Ghanian name!

Birthday — male name / female name

Sunday — Kwasi / Akosua
Monday — Kwajdwo / Adwoa
Tuesday — Kwabena / Abena
Wednesday — Kweko / Akua
Thursday — Yaw / Yaa
Friday — Kofi / Afua
Saturday — Kwasi / Ama

Yours truly,
Kweko & Abena