Tag Results for Ghana (11)

  1. Out of Africa: liberation through the skies

    Last Thursday morning, I flew from Tamale to Accra, Ghana on a 45-seat prop plane. The flight took barely more than an hour, and spared me a ten-hour car ride. Tamale is the most important city in Ghanaâ''s largely-Muslim north, and the air service is relatively new. Antrak flies daily; it is one of two commercial carriers. The opening of Ghanaâ''s north through the skies does not resolve the continuing troubles with basic roads between Accra and points north. The very same awful road that links Accra to Kumasi continues further north to Tamale. If Tamale is …

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  2. Out of Africa: Giant air conditioners

    For the first time in five year I'm back in Accra, Ghana, the pearl of Angolophone West Africa. The biggest change I see in Ghana's capital city is the proliferation of giant, seven-foot tall air conditioners. That's right. Accra is the new Houston. Parts of the U.S. -- Vegas, Phoenix, Sacramento -- were only fully domesticated with the advent of relatively effective and efficient air conditioning. Yet the cooling technology that ignited the boom in the Sun Belt came during a long economic expansion in what once was the world's richest country. The arrival of super-duper air conditioners in Accra …

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  3. Out of Africa: Giant air conditioners

    For the first time in five year I'm back in Accra, Ghana, the pearl of Angolophone West Africa. The biggest change I see in Ghana's capital city is the proliferation of giant, seven-foot tall air conditioners. That's right. Accra is the new Houston. Parts of the U.S. -- Vegas, Phoenix, Sacramento -- were only fully domesticated with the advent of relatively effective and efficient air conditioning. Yet the cooling technology that ignited the boom in the Sun Belt came during a long economic expansion in what once was the world's richest country. The arrival of super-duper air conditioners in Accra …

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  4. Out of Africa: Fish versus fishing

    I spent last Sunday morning on the beach in West Africa. To be precise, I spent last Sunday morning observing Fante fishermen, bringing in their catch in the shadows of Cape Coast Castle, an old slaving fort that stands as a bleak reminder of human cruelty. The Fante men fish four or five men to a wooden boat. The boat is essentially carved out of a long long. For nets, the men use manufactured nylon things, and most days, either before or after going to sea, men repair the nets themselves, stitching holes with their own hands. The outboard motor …

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  5. Out of Africa: Goodbye Solar, Hello Nuclear Power

    There is a curious, even strange and demented, technological trend underway in Ghana, a west African country which recently made a major oil discovery and boasts large hydro-electric resources. Ghana wants to go nuclear. The country may be bathed in sunshine. It may even have potential supplies of wind and thermal power. And Ghana can essentially "harvest" enormous amounts of electricity by vastly reducing "transmission losses" from its venerable Volta dam complex. And yet despite all these energy supplies, real and forecasted, Ghana's government is training hundreds of people in order to staff a planned nuclear-power plant that would …

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  6. How MIT Woos African students

    The competition for Africa's best technical students is strong, global -- and intensifying. In the past year, the Chinese government officials have outlined plans for bringing thousands of sub-Saharan Africa's best students in the People's Republic of China, whose top science and engineering schools are increasingly worthy of international acclaim. African students are responding. When I visited Rwanda last year, I met a university graduate considered among the best young software programmers in the country. Clothilde Tingiri, the programmer, dreamed of gaining a master's degree, as I've written elsewhere, not at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., but …

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  7. Out of Africa: the Evolving Web Cafe

    Mark Davies is one of the great unsung heroes of the information-technology scene in Africa. The founder of the finest Internet café in the sub-Saharan â'' the spacious and stimulating Busyinternet café in Accra, Ghana â'' Davies is true original character who recognizes the monumental deficit in African scientific and technological communities. The signal problem is not money, or opportunity or â''bandwidthâ'' or even brain drain. Rather the big deficit in Africa for technical people is social networking. Everything Davies does in Africa is based on his shrewd understanding that until Africans communicate with one another more …

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  8. The Agonies of an African Programmer

    Last month during a brief stop in Nairobi, I tried to meet one of my oldest friends in Africa, Guido Sohne. The post-election riots were keeping him inside, however. â''I am not quite under house arrest,â'' he emailed me. But travel to the airport was too risky. Sohne is another of those people that I think of as living in â''the Africa nobody knows,â'' people who should not exist if you never read past the screaming headlines about disaster, disease and mayhem in Africa. Sohne is a big brain, one of the most important codewriters in sub-Saharan Africa, and …

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  9. Out of Africa: White Man's Burden?

    The latest flap between Intel and Nicholas Negroponte over how best to deliver computers to the world's poorest children strikes me as an honest disagreement between two parties with very different conceptions of technological change. Negroponte's "One Laptop per Child" (OLPC) initiative is a striking marriage of innovation with altruism, leavened with a healthy layer of technocratic zeal. Negroponte's wizards have created a fascinating little machine, loaded with novelty, and built for a eye-catchingly low cost. The only trouble I see is that Negroponte and friends never asked either poor youth or the governors of the countries …

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