Akwaaba…

…Welcome to Accra, the capital city of Ghana. I arrived several days ago.  I’m not sure what I was expecting exactly – a country more modern in some ways and less modern in others.

My mission here in Africa over the next few months is primarily to learn.  In doing so, I hope to find similarities between Ghana and Canada, enough so that I can carve out a middle ground  (my job as a journalist) and convey to Canadians what life is really like on the Gold Coast.

Let me start by saying that not all Africans live in grass huts (just like not all Saskatchewanians live in igloos).  Over the course of the next three months, other stereotypes about the continent will also be addressed in this blog and will showcase the voices of Ghanaian citizens.

Like Canada, Ghana is a mosaic of different cultures.  With a population of over 21 million people, there are 15 major ethnic groups with their own language, culture and religion.  While I can’t possibly break the surface of delving into the diversity in this country in the short time I am here, I hope to learn as much as I can about the many different cultures that live peacefully in this small region.

Ghana is the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence in 1957.  Today, it is a republic with the next presidential election scheduled to take place in the summer of 2012.  A budding democracy and a growing economy, Ghana boasts a large middle class.

Although there is a very free press, there is still a need for fair and balanced journalism with an emphasis on human rights and social issues….and is ripe with personal stories not yet told.  The storyteller in me could not resist the adventure.

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About Raquel Fletcher

Raquel Fletcher is a fourth-year journalism student at the University of Regina School of Journalism. She is currently the co-president of the Journalists for Human Rights Regina chapter. Fletcher, 21, contributed to the local newspaper, the Regina Leader Post "Minus 20" column during high school and to the Carillon, the U of R student paper for the past four years. She currently sits on the Carillon board of directors. Fletcher interned as a videojournalist at CTV Regina for three months and now works there as the weekend reporter. She aspires to be a news anchor.

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