Ghana is the only West African country Rick and Wendy have visited to date. It is also where TechnoServe was founded abroad in 1968 and is its longest running office. Starting in Ghana, Rick and a few colleagues taught TechnoServe staff in several country offices about a new project management methodology. Over time, this would ensure organization-wide consistency across diverse yet parallel programs. While Rick was teaching, Wendy had the fun job of meeting with clients at their business’ sites to profile them for TechnoServe marketing collateral and website content. All those visited had: 1) received training in 2006 or 2007 from TechnoServe Ghana’s Believe Begin Become business plan competition; 2) won equipment (e.g., Lenovo laptops) or cash prizes ($5,000 to $15,000); and 3) overcame barriers that might defeat U.S. entrepreneurs! These profiles are in Success Stories.
Cape Coast Castle: Symbol of Slave Trade
The weekend before Rick started the TechnoServe class in Accra, Ghana, they toured the around the city. In Elmina they visited
Cape Coast Castle, one of the key slave-trade fortresses on the Atlantic coast north of the city. If the captives survived to be auctioned in the fortress, man then died in the holding area in the fortress. This Castle became a sad memorial to the many thousands of West African slaves who passed through places like this before being stacked like logs in the holds of tiny ships where many more died while on-board ships bound for the U.S. and Caribbean countries.
Trekking on Rope Bridges at Treetops in Kakum National Park
In contrast to the depressing visit Cape Coast Castle, at Kakum National Park, Wendy and Rick had fun trekking on shaky rope bridges across rainforest tree canopy 40 meters above the ground. They noted that many local Ghanaians did not like walking on these bridges–probably a cultural issue.