Accra Serviced Apartments
Volunteering, Tours & Arts
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1. Dress can be casual, but avoid wearing shorts in offices or official places.
2. Ask permission before taking close pictures of people, and avoid taking pictures of banks and embassies, for security reasons.
3. Ghanaian customs are generally polite and formal:
-people shake hands often in greeting.
-when meeting a seated group, shake hands from the right to the left of the group
-Avoid pointing and gesticulating with your left hand.
4. When using hands to eat, try to use your right hand only
5. A smile will avoid or resolve most disagreements more effectively than raising your voice, or appearing to be angry
6. Elders are respected, children are prized
7. It is not common to invite a guest inside the home and most social entertaining takes place outside, on a porch or patio area
8. Being helpful and polite is part of the culture, so do not be quick to assume that someone is trying to deceive you. However, please remain cautious and do not interpret friendliness to mean any more than that.
1) The legal age of consent in Ghana is 16 years. Culturally, it is considered good manners to be friendly and helpful to strangers. Children are also helpful and respectful to those older than they are. Please do not take advantage of this respectful innocence.
2) Platonic relationships between men and women are not common in this culture, so be cautious and do not raise expectations that you do not intend to meet.
3) Foreign, particularly Western, clothes and behaviour, are seen as very fashionable, and many young people try to imitate what they see. Please remember that people will be influenced by what you do, so be mindful of your language, dress and actions. In particular, please do not smoke or abuse alcohol publicly.
4) The economic hardships of living in a developing country means that there are many vulnerable people in Ghana. Please do not exploit such people, and make promises you do not intend to keep.
5) Items are usually fairly priced for sale. Please do not exploit the desperation of some sellers by bargaining for unconscionably low prices. Buy locally made products wherever available as this will benefit the local economy and encourage the growth of the skill base.
1) Please turn off taps and lights when not in use, minimize toilet flushing, and let us compost your raw peelings.
2) Please be patient: ‘Light Off’ is still common in Ghana, so please carry a ready torch in the evening, until we can give you some light.
3) Study the ‘AKWAABA’ information sheet provided in your apartment.
The ethno-social structure of Ghana-
The People: Ghanaians come from six main ethnic groups: the Ga-Adangbe, the Ewe, the Akan (Ashanti and Fanti), the Mole-Dagbani, the Guan, and the Gurma.
The Ashanti peoples (Asante) of the Akan are the largest group in Ghana and one of the few matrilineal societies in West Africa. Once known for their military might, they are most famous today for their craft work, particularly their hand-carved stools and fertility dolls and their colourful kente cloth.
The Ewe largely settled in southeastern Ghana and the southern parts of neighboring Togo and Benin, and are also known for beautiful Kente work.
The Fantis are mainly located in the coastal areas of Ghana, where the ‘castles’ and fortresses used during the Atlantic Slave Trade are located.
The Ga-Adangbe people inhabit the Accra Plains. The Adangbe are found to the east, the Ga groups, to the west of the Accra coastlands.
The major languages spoken: are Twi, Fante, Ga, Hausa, Dagbani, Ewe and Nzema.
However, English remains the official language of Ghana.
The Legal System: Based on the English Legal system.
Religions: Ghana has the highest percentage of Christians in West Africa. An approximate breakdown of religions suggests that 60% are Christian, 15% are Muslim and 25% practice traditional African religions.
The Climate: Ghana’s climate is tropical but relatively mild. There are two rainy seasons for most of the country, from April to June and from September to November. However, in the north of the country squalls occur in March and April, followed by occasional rain until August and September, when the rainfall season peaks.
The temperatures range between 21°C and 32°C (70°F - 90°F), relative humidity between 50% and 80%. Rainfall ranges from 30 to 80 inches a year. The ‘harmattan’, a dry desert wind, blows from the northeast from December to March lowering the humidity and causing hot day and cool nights in the north. The effect of this wind is felt in the south during January. In most areas, temperatures are highest in March and lowest in August after the rains.
Visas: To enter Ghana, citizens of all but ECOWAS -member States require visas (at a nominal fee).
The Currency:100 pesewas=1 Cedi
Local Time: Ghana has the same time as that of GMT
Electric Power: is 230V running at 50Hz.
Travel Insurance: It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.
The food: Soups are the main dish in Ghanaian food and are eaten with fufu (either pounded plantain and cassava or yam), kokonte (cassava meal cooked into a paste), banku (fermented corn dough), boiled yam, rice, bread, plantain, or cassava.
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