Posted on September 24, 2009


So many things in the news-WORLD TOURISM DAY being hosted by Ghana, KWAME NKRUMAH’S centenary , AND QADAFFI’S SPEECH AT THE U.N. This post ties them all together.

Paul Krugman’s Blog “The Conscience of a Liberal” September 23, 2009:  Econotourism: For economists visiting Scotland, a hearty recommendation that you visit Verdant Works in Dundee — a museum devoted to the history of the jute industry. Jute? Yep.

You can go to the post yourself-just click on New York Times on the blogroll.

First Econotourism caught my eye…..and then jute. Did you know once upon a time Kumasi had a jute factory? It was built in the early 60s-one of Nkrumah’s many industrial projects that collapsed for a variety of reasons.

And did you know that just over a year ago the Ghana Cocoa Board and an Indian firm signed an MOU (a memorandum of understanding) to rebuild the factory which would provide sacking for bags  for cocoa, a big input for cocoa farmers? There was a lot of press then as there is now. Also this plan for economic rejuvination of this city was all laid out in Kumasi’s Millennium Cities Development Plan as part of the push to realize MDGs through  attracting foreign investment. Kumasi is still waiting…

But there can still be an econotourism project….a museum could be created in Kumasi like in Dundee depicting the history of the factory and, in Kumasi, a econorealism tour could be put together visiting the other sites of past failed enterprises such as the shoe factory and the tomato plant along with closed sawmills. There could be a stop at both Ghana Breweries Limited and Guinness Brewery that have been rumored to be closing. But the tour could finish off   on a positive note with a visit to the Golden Tulip-Kumasi City, the old City Hotel, part of a state hotels chain established  by Nkrumah, completely refurbished for the Africa Cup Football Competition of 2008. Golden Tulip-Kumasi City, Kumasi’s only four star hotel,  is owned by an Arab group headed by……you guessed it, Libyan President  Qaddafi.


Just to finish off with a picture from the Verdant Works web site promoting the museum which sounds fascinating:

Verdant Jute Works, Dundee, Scotland

Verdant Jute Works, Dundee, Scotland

Over 50,000 people worked under grueling conditions over the life of the factory. Most were women and children! The men sat home unemployed. They were called “kettle – boilers”. Fascinating. would be the history of Kumasi’s jute factory!