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:

Afrique:   Classement FIFA - le Sénégal et l'Algérie devant l'Afrique du Sud et le Ghana (news)
Wal Fadjri
19 December 2014

Le Sénégal, qui a manqué la dernière Can 2013 en Afrique du Sud et qui est qualifié pour les prochaines échéances au mois de janvier en ... [read more]

Ghana:   Parliament Approves Dr Kwabena Donkor As Power Minister (press release)
Government of Ghana
19 December 2014

Parliament has unanimously approved the nomination of Dr Kwabena Donkor as Minister for Power. [read more]

Ghana:   ACEP Launches Report On Oil & Gas Governance Challenges & Local Content (press release)
Government of Ghana
22 December 2014

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Ghana Chapter (ACEP Ghana), has launched a report which seeks to highlight governance challenges, corruption and local content issues in the oil and gas industry. [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!