Monthly Archives: March 2009

google? what’s that?

Up at 3 to catch the early bus to Wa, which stops at Damongo. In Damongo there is a new internet café run by a guy called Prince, who set it up after winning a business plan competition run by Google.org and Technoserve, two fairly major international organisations. The café is in Damongo’s market square, […]

who’s king?

There has been a lot of stress up here about tribal politics lately. I asked Latif to explain what was going on, since the updates in the news here are only useful if you know the background, and I don’t want to walk into a tribal dispute by mistake.  According to him, the poverty and […]

beer is a food group after today.

Off to Bimbila, again starting out at 4am, which is imperative if you want to get anywhere. Missed the first bus to Yendi, which bizzarrely left an hour early at 4.30, and had to wait till 7 for the second. Then found the next bus to Bimbilla, which turned  out not to be a bus […]

You can’t get there from here.

The last two days, with Tamale interviews nearly done, I have been on the road. And off the road, on dirt tracks. And off the dirt tracks, hiking around the bush way, way off the map. It’s been interesting. Useful things I have discovered are that in Northern Ghana, you can drink 8 pints of […]

lights out

Yesterday there was a ‘lights out’ – our power went off at 7pm, then the next morning a planned outage happened (maintenance? religious tradition? no one knows), so although the rest of Tamale was only out for six hours, our neighbourhood was out for nearly 24. Fortunately my computer was more or less charged, so […]

fat cats and shattered mice

I am considering adding ‘percentage body fat’ into my survey questions, since it seems a quite reliable indicator of business sustainability here. Today I met the guy who until recently had a monopoly on all the district’s school registrations at his internet cafe. He was easily the size of all the other cafe owners put […]

first steps

Four cafes surveyed yesterday, three so far today. I am writing this from the fourth. All very small businesses – under 10 employees. They pop up and disappear a lot in Tamale, people tell me, mainly because the internet business looks like a good opportunity but the population is not that literate here yet (about […]