I got in last night after 13 hours on the bus. The scenery was beautiful, it was marred only by 13 hours of Nigerian movies at speaker-warping volume. It was good to get here, and I was even greeted by some rain, which brought the temperatures down into the 30’s (it is usually in the mid-40’s at this time of year).

It’s weird getting off the bus in a town whose main industry is poverty. A swarm of dodgy people greeted the obrunis getting off the bus, asking ‘which NGO’? ‘I know Americans, I know Dutch who work at NGO.’ ‘ You are going to Mole park tomorrow? I take you!’ They were baffled that I was neither a tourist nor an NGO worker, and followed me even more, trying to figure out what I was doing here. Then the taxi driver tried to over-charge me by 500%, which is a sure sign of there being a lot of white folks in town.

Every other vehicle seems to have been donated by an NGO or to belong to one. I’m here to look at the private sector, so I don’t fit into anyone’s scheme. I keep asking people here what development is, and no one so far has had an answer. I am feeling a little sceptical about the whole development thing, but I’m sure I’ll get my faith back when I come home to England and the contradictions are less visible.

Four internet cafes so far, around 96 to go. So far the hypothesis is still holding up. So, this encapsulates Tamale:

tamale's private sector

tamale's private sector

One comment

  1. steve reilly · · Reply

    been there done that, 17 yrs. ago. no web tho. loved that place. glad you went there, but you didn,t experience the yearly Dagumba and Kacumba conflict

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