Where are the historians and fact-checkers? I think my name should go into the history books as the first Ghanaian to explore West Africa on a luxury cruise ship. One, I don’t think there are many cruises like this along the West African coast; and two, Ghanaians usually don’t go on such cruises!
In April, I joined the elegant SH Vega cruise for the Cultural Crucibles of West Africa: From Accra to Dakar. The 13-Day Expedition Cruise was a delightful 5-star voyage of dining, relaxation, music, and a lot of adventure.
SH Vega is a 5-star elegant Scandi-design boutique ship that offers an intimate setting for guests to fully be immersed in all the sights and sounds of their voyage.
SH Vega’s Sophisticated Elegance is accentuated by spacious, relaxing public spaces which provide wide open, unobstructed views throughout the ship. The destination is always in view.
The Elegant Scandi interior is designed in neutral tones using natural textures. The smooth lines and rounded walls allow for a relaxing yet light ambiance. The rich textiles, varied textures, and intimate lighting create a harmonious, comfortable environment. Lighting options for every mood, along with a mesmerizing holographic fireplace create the perfect relaxing space.
Suites have a separate living room and bedroom. All staterooms are equipped with spacious wardrobes and bathrooms. My Balcony stateroom featured a 6-square meter panoramic balcony.
SH Vega has everything to make the stay of guests memorable and enjoyable. Deck 3 has a clinic, library, beauty salon, and expedition lab. Deck 4 has the reception, launderette, and the amazing Swan restaurant where we had dinner and breakfast regularly. Deck 7 has a shop, swimming pool, pool bar and grill, club lounge, and an observation lounge. There is a gym, sauna, jacuzzi, spa, and a bridge on deck 8, while deck 9 offers a stargazing experience like no other for guests!
The Swan Dining Room serves international and regional cuisine focused on quality, creativity, and flavours. With an open seating policy, guests can dine at their leisure, from breakfast through to dinner. Breakfast and Lunch are served on the buffet, while dinner is a sit-down affair complete with white tablecloths and linen napkins.
The Cultural Crucibles of West Africa started when we sailed from the Tema Harbor to the Takoradi harbour and made our way to the infamous Elmina Castle. I hadn’t been hear in over two decades so it was interesting reliving the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
The next stop of the adventure was in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. We made our way to Grand-Bassam a town in southeastern Ivory Coast, lying east of Abidjan. During the late 19th century, Grand-Bassam was briefly the French colonial capital of Ivory Coast. Because of its outstanding examples of colonial architecture and town planning, and the juxtaposition of the colonial town with a traditional Nzema village, the historic center of Grand-Bassam was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.
The next country of visit was Sierra Leone, where we entered via the port in Freetown. We visited the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum, an incredible collection of British-built trains that has survived 40 years hidden in a derelict railway workshop.
We then visited the Original Fourah Bay College building, located at the east end of Freetown. Fourah Bay College opened in 1827 as the first institution of higher learning in modern sub-Saharan Africa after the collapse of the one at Timbuktu.
We then made our way to the peace and culture monument where we met the minister of tourism and checked out the oldest cotton tree (which is over 500 years old) as well as the national museum which are all in very close proximity.
We then ended our visit to Sierra Leone with some food, fun, and games at the Tokeh beach resort.
Guinea Bissau was our next country of visit, where we stayed within the Bijagos archipelago for 3 nights. Here I had my first experience with the zodiac, which took us from the ship to the various islands.
We kicked things off with a visit to Bolama, the closest of the Bissagos Islands to the mainland of Guinea-Bissau. The island is almost surrounded by mangrove swamps and is known for its cashew nuts.
We later had a nature walk visit to experience the life of the people of the Roxa or Canhabaque
On day two in the Bijagos archipelago, we visited the Bubaque Island, known for its wildlife and heavy forests. We met of the people of the village who entertained us with music, drumming, and dancing.
On the final day in Bijagos, we visited the stunning Kere island. A private island with hotel and restaurant facilities, games, and more.
My final country on the expedition for me was the Gambia. Here we had a tour of Banjul, the capital. We visited the Gambia National Museum, home to historical documents and displays concerning the History of the Gambia. We experienced the iconic Kankurang dance by Mandinka masquerades.
We also passed by the local market briefly before making our way to Kunta Kinteh Island. As an important historical site in the West African slave trade, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kunta Kinte, a character described in Alex Haley’s book and TV series Roots, has become associated with this Island. The book states that Kunta Kinte was among 98 slaves that the slave ship Lord Ligonier brought to Annapolis, Maryland in 1767.
What the Statistics Show About Reasons Online Casinos Are Growing Increasingly Popular in Ghana
Online casino gamblers have significantly increased in several African nations, including Ghana. In reality, iGaming operations have increased across the whole continent, particularly in South Africa and Ghana, which, along with Kenya, have the most lucrative and rapidly expanding iGaming sectors. Both sports betting and gambling at online casinos have grown considerably throughout African iGaming markets in contrast to the same industry just three years ago.
Putting the above in other words: Greater numbers of players began turning to online options rather than the more established brick-and-mortar casinos. The coronavirus epidemic was one of several factors contributing to the rise in the attractiveness of online casinos, as well as sports betting sites. Additionally, the extraordinary expansion of online casino gambling in Ghana and numerous other African nations has been fueled by cutting-edge technologies and a significant increase in digitization across the continent.
According to research conducted by the Ghanaian government, the number of young residents of the nation participating in online casino gambling behaviors has increased. The youth of Ghana gamble online, which constitutes one of the research topics that has received the least attention. The majority of research focuses on the connections between young people and work, development, education, and politics.
Another study on the gambling industry in Africa found that the following nations, in descending order, had the greatest numbers of gamblers:
- South Africa
According to this survey, Ghana is among the 10 nations, even eight nations, in Africa with the highest concentration of gamblers, which is not surprising given the country’s lax iGaming rules and regulations. While South African gamblers account for more than 80% of those who gamble on the gorgeous Savanna-filled continent, Ghana’s iGaming industry is one of the richest there.
Gambling in Ghana: What the Numbers Tell Us
Gambling is widely accepted in Ghana. As a result, it is estimated that 45% of people in the nation have gambled at some point. The country’s youthful population contributes to the growth of both sports and casino betting there. An estimated 30 million Ghanaians between the ages of 19 and 34 enjoy betting on casino games and sporting events.
The business that was launched as an outcome of the 1960 Lotteries Betting Act, the 1973 Gambling Machines Act, and the Casino Licensing Act appears to be flourishing at the moment. Ghanaians have access to a wide range of gambling activities, including sports betting, lotteries, slots, and bingo, according to officials of some of the best Ghanaian casino sites, which we contacted for expertise. This, together with the abundance of offline and online suppliers, indicates that the sector has enormous continued potential.
Both Online and Offline Casinos’ Home
Ghana is pleased to let operators of both brick-and-mortar and Internet casinos do business there. Numerous land-based casinos provide their patrons with additional alluring amenities like restaurants and swimming pools. There are several physical casinos located all around the nation. There are six physical casinos located in Accra, the country’s capital.
Gambling is common in Ghana and is not just found in physical locations. The web-based gambling and sports betting sectors are also booming. As a result, there are over 250 gambling portals operating in the nation, albeit most bettors only use a few of the most well-known ones.
The Effects of Gambling on Ghana’s Economy
In Ghana, sports wagering alone generates over $3.5 million in NGR (net gaming revenue) each month. About 17.5% of this is taken by the government in taxes.
A fresh set of regulations for the gaming sector is now being developed by the Ghanaian Gaming Commission with the goal of maximizing the revenue it generates. This project was inspired by the fact that the country is thought to lose out on about $300 million Ghana cedis (close to $26 million) in income each year due to leakages in the sector.
Ghana’s Online Gaming Industry’s Future
In five years, the gaming sector in Africa is predicted to increase between 5% and 12%, based on the most recent estimates. The popularity and accessibility of mobile gaming devices are the key drivers of the industry’s growth. Younger people gamble more on mobile devices, and African nations have the largest youth populations in the world. When it pertains to the prospects of Ghana’s online gaming sector, the country’s youth are crucial.
Ghana is home to several worldwide online casinos and sportsbooks, including Betway, 22Bet, 888 Casino, Casino.com, Mansion Casino, and Jackpot City. This implies that Ghanaian gamers have tremendous prospects provided by reputable, profitable, and long-standing international businesses. This implies that gamers from Ghana will not have any trouble locating a trustworthy online casino where they can enjoy playing conventional table games, slot machines, and other well-liked games.
The future of Ghana’s online gaming sector appears quite promising as more and more foreign companies develop their operations there. In Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, where there are the most young people, the African online gaming market is anticipated to develop the fastest, according to a survey from Research and Markets, a trusted source of market data and stats. The most profitable online gaming market in Africa is located in South Africa. The country’s total gaming revenues are expected to hit the $2 billion level in two years, according to the most recent estimates.
In the sub-Saharan region, Nigeria has the most profitable market, based on projected gross gaming revenues for 2020. Tanzania and Kenya are two more African nations with favorable gaming conditions for foreign operators. The Ghana Gaming Commission, which oversees the majority of the country’s gaming operations, has been working extremely hard to provide a comprehensive iGaming regulatory framework. The Ghanaian online gambling sector is the most stable and is projected to develop, while not being the largest.
The gaming sector in Ghana has been affected by epidemic limitations, as with many other industries, particularly in terms of physical and mortar establishments. The popularity of Internet gambling is still quite strong, though.
Ghana is, as we stressed, already one of the top 10 gaming destinations in Africa, and this trend appears to be continuing. The country’s gambling industry is
Peace Hyde and WEF Young Global Leaders tour billion-dollar oil refinery established by Aliko Dangote
President and chief executive officer of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has celebrated the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) and the tremendous potential of this unique World Economic Forum community to develop the next generation of African leaders from all parts of society.
The Young Global Leaders programme is an accelerator for a dynamic community of exceptional young people from all over the world with the vision, courage, and influence to drive positive change in the world. This year, British Ghanaian media mogul, Peace Hyde, joined this exemplary group of African change makers who are also part of the Aliko Dangote (WEF Africa YGL) fellows.
Now in the 12th year of collaboration with the WEF YGL programme, the Aliko Dangote (WEF Africa YGL) Fellows continue to represent the continent on the global stage and give back to their communities in a multiplicity of impactful ways.
The executive director, Dangote Industries, Fatima Dangote expressed happiness at the diversity and high proportion of female fellows in the 2023 Cohort, where the nine chosen YGLs represent the media/arts/entertainment, technology & innovation, health, and government sectors.
The ADF-YGL Lagos Convening which took place on September 8, 2023, was an excellent opportunity for the participating current and alumni YGL Africa Fellows to meet and interact with their patron, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
According to Hyde, “I am deeply honoured to be part of this illustrious community of changemakers. The work Dangote is doing with the Refinery is inspirational and the sheer scale and impact of the facility will empower Africans for years to come.”
Animal Welfare League vaccinated 198 animals in Sokode Communities in the Volta Region to celebrate World Rabies Day in 2023
Animal Welfare League is an animal advocacy organisation dedicated to improving animal welfare in Ghana. They aim to address legislative challenges, uphold institutional and corporate responsibilities for better animal welfare, and develop policies to enhance community and public capacity for creating a better world for animals.
Animal Welfare League, in collaboration with the Veterinary Services Directorate in the Volta Region, identified a distressed community that had reported five suspected cases of rabies in animals. Unfortunately, the suspected animals were killed and disposed of before veterinary investigations could confirm the cases.
The Sokode area comprises five communities: Etoe, Ando, Bagel, Lokoe, and Gbogame, hosting the main campus of the University of Health and Allied Sciences with an estimated population of 40,000 people.
To celebrate World Rabies Day in 2023 with the theme “Rabies: All for 1, One Health for All,” Animal Welfare League collaborated with the School of Veterinary Medicine at KNUST and the Veterinary Services Directorate. They conducted a free rabies vaccination exercise and provided education on dog-bite prevention in four communities within the Sokode Area in the Ho municipality of the Volta region. Through this effort, 198 pets (124 dogs and 74 cats) were vaccinated against rabies.