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/Egypt:   Pharaohs Hope to Join Black Stars in Afcon Quarterfinals (news)
allAfrica.com
24 January 2017

Egypt need just a point from their final African Nations Cup Group D clash against Ghana in Port Gentil on Wednesday to be sure of a quarterfinal place, and will be confident of achieving at least ... [read more]

Ghana:   Suley Muntari - Le GhanĂ©en s'est engagĂ© avec un club italien (news)
Africa Top Sports
23 January 2017

Bonne nouvelle pour le football ghanéen, Suley Muntari va rejouer en Europe. Libre de tout contrat, le milieu de terrain ghanéen s'est engagé en faveur de Pescara, a-t-on appris ... [read more]

Ghana/Mali:   Black Stars Head for Afcon Quarterfinals (news)
allAfrica.com
22 January 2017

Avram Grant cut a relieved figure as his Ghana side booked a quarterfinal appearance at the 2017 African Nations Cup finals with a game to spare in Group D after a 1-0 victory over Mali in Port Gentil ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com'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!