Guest post: Dwayne Smith

My advice to anybody who wants to know more about Africa, GO. Don’t sit around in ignorance imagining things that have no basis in reality. If you can, go see for yourself.

Guest post: Kenzie Zuchowski

I entered this class with ignorance of my ignorance, but I am leaving with a newfound appreciation for all that I don’t know. And while I can keep trying to convey what all this means to me, I think these concepts have already been spoken for. In terms of culture, travel, education, and beyond I think Kwame Nkrumah said it best, “Forward ever, backward never.”

In the field

Everyone we met had an opinion about both the Ghanaian and American presidential elections (some of them surprising) and were eager to have conversations about politics. But many of the people we spoke with, including former presidents like Rawlings, were also disenchanted with the political status quo.

Guest post: Savana Brewer

During the Winter 2016 semester I reluctantly came across a mass email about studying abroad in Ghana. Almost deleting it [before opening], I decided to first see what the message was about. Seeming like a dream come true, I committed myself to attending the required African Democracy Project informational meeting regarding the trip at the very least. I then learned that the project served as a course focusing on the citizenship and democracy of Ghana.

Listening to Experts: Musical Politics

On October 10th, Nate Plageman visited the African Democracy Project course to talk about his book, Highlife Saturday Night.  In the highlife book and in his more recent work about the history of Sekondi-Takoradi, Nate seeks to push against reductionist narratives about “average Ghanaians” that ignores their daily lives and focused instead on state-centered narratives.  At…

Guest post: Martin Banner

I signed up for the class because I knew that the country of Ghana would be electing its president around the same time we in the U.S. would be holding our presidential election, giving me the opportunity to study the democratic process unfold in another country. When eight of sixteen presidential contenders were disqualified the candidates ended up in the Supreme Court, it gave an added dimension to our study of democracy in Ghana.

Guest post: Chris Ehrmann

When we traveled to the country it was not quite what I expected. I was actually expecting some similarities to Namibia, but this was completely different. I actually wasn’t expecting Accra to be as big or have as many buildings as it did. I was expecting it to be similar to Namibia where there was more land laid out between spaces. Although, Oxford Street was almost exactly as I pictured it. I also went online to see a few pictures of what it looked like, but I tried to refrain from doing it for everything because I wanted to be surprised by the country. I also have to admit, I wasn’t expecting it to be as dirty as it was in some parts, compared to Namibia which was relatively clean.

Guest post: Vernard Wilson

The thing that I learned most from this program is the given opportunity to expand my concept of my respected study of computer science. I also found this to be a life learning experience that is beyond the scope of my academic career as well. As a personal reflection, I found Ghanaians to be humbling people. They are also a group of people with a high level of integrity, which I admire. I also learned that I want to participate in more projects like the ADP. I seek to bring this aspect as a software engineer to future programs, and perhaps, advocate for more programs like this one in the computer science department at Wayne State University. Ultimately, this program helped expand my views on how to apply my craft as a computer science student.