Staying away

From Baobab Wed Dec 19 2012, 05:58:03

THE last two years have been tough for tourism in Burkina Faso. An army mutiny in 2011 prompted foreign embassies to turn their travel warnings to red. Then in January this year, 37,000 refugees from neighbouring Mali flooded across the border to escape their country's political crisis. The collapse in Mali's tourist industry has been even more damaging. The country has long been a highlight of travel in West Africa. Tour operators got people to Burkina Faso by tagging it on to a trip to Mali. With Mali now off-limits, the bottom has fallen out of regional tourism.

Rerouting circuits to other nearby countries is the obvious solution but this is difficult. Neither Niger nor Côte d'Ivoire is particularly secure. Togo is small and undeveloped. Benin's tourism infrastructure is improving, but it lacks the mythical appeal of Timbuktu and the Dogon Country.

That leaves Ghana. On paper it is the ideal travel companion to Burkina. Its beaches complement Burkina's landlocked terrain. The slave forts provide insight into an important page of modern history. The bustling metropolis of Accra, Ghana's capital, offers a glimpse into what the future of Africa looks like, less evident in Ouagadougou, Burkina's sleepy capital.

But Ghana is Anglophone, and French-speaking Burkina--like its former colonial power--has not taken to English. Local guides rarely speak English well enough to shepherd visitors around. They also need an international driving license to drive in Ghana--unnecessary in its Francophone neighbours--and vehicles require a special registration permit. Both of these must be renewed every year.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Ghana:   The Chronicle Salutes Old Tafo Chiefs (editorial)
Ghanaian Chronicle
30 November 2015

Ghana Television, on Saturday November 28, 2015, carried a news feature which quoted the chiefs and people of Old Tafo in the Eastern Region as having banned the organisation of funerals by individual ... [read more]

Ghana:   Manhyia Gets Modern Library, ICT Centres - Through Instrumentality of Napo - Redeems Promise to Prempeh College (news)
Ghanaian Chronicle
30 November 2015

TEACHING AND learning in the Manhyia South Constituency is expected to receive tremendous improvement following the commissioning of an Information Technology Centre and a Library for Basic and Junior ... [read more]

Ghana:   Emergency Response Center Opened At Nkwantakese - to Serve the Northern Sector (news)
Ghanaian Chronicle
30 November 2015

The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) has opened an Emergency Response Center for the Northern sector of Ghana at Nkwantakese in the Afigya Kwabre District. [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!

Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...