EBOLA: The Ripple Effect

Posted on October 29, 2014


Posted this on the SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA Facebook page:

Received another email at Four Villages Inn, Kumasi, Ghana..seems the police too maybe affected by less tourist traffic to Ghana! The speeding incident we, the people of Ghana, can all relate to, but the camera story…SMH!

“This week we had visitors come from Togo, tourists. They came to Ghana to spend money. French/Swiss nationals (light skinned) who have visited Ghana several times before. In fact, over the past couple of years must have spent a lot of money in Ghana.
The border crossing was smoother than ever before but…. just a few kilometres over the border and WHAM…. Of course, a young ‘light’ couple in a Togo registered car were hot pickings…
We received a phone call….
‘We have been stopped by the police and they want GHS200 to let us go’.
They had been speeding, fair enough, but they had been told that ‘they would need to go to court in the morning, and be detained overnight’…. (I have never seen Ghana courts so efficient) or pay the GHS200 fine…. Patricia spoke to the police officers who accepted a GHS50 ‘letting off’.
They arrived with us at Kpong and started their planning to go to Cape Coast, Kakum, etc. What a wonderful way to spread funds around this ‘dry’ country.
After a quick morning flight over the magnificent Ghanaian countryside, they set off….
Two hours later…
‘We have been stopped by the police because we don’t have a permit to take photographs of people’.
Again, Patricia went on the phone, explaining that
‘you don’t need a permit to take photos or video for non-commercial use – especially as a tourist’.
The police officer (perhaps a little inebriated) went on about how you can only take photos of landscapes and trees and the countryside – but not people (especially policemen) without a permit. Not that they had, nor had he seen them doing so.
It transpires that the Togo registered car was stopped, and the young lady had a camera on her lap…. so the ‘need for a permit to take photos’ or perhaps ‘to posses a camera’ was inspired.
The couple had not taken any ‘deliberate photos of any person’. The camera was just on her lap.
Needless to say, a senior officer came along and told them to ‘move along’ after a good 40 minutes of phone calls and challenges. Did money change hands? Well, I don’t want to ask….
Will they come back to Ghana? Would you?
Ghana is rapidly becoming a very ‘unfriendly nation’ – not the amazing wonderful Ghanaian people, but theGhanaian administration, the Ghanaian authorities, the Ghanaian tax system, the Ghanaian legal system, the way people, especially those who are clearly not from Ghana, are treated.
Martin, please share with the WATH.
Franklin, you know who to share this with and Chris, can you share with the tourist folks.
Best regards from the 95% down on visitors from 4 years ago Kpong Airfield.

The above was written by Jonathan Porter a.k.a Capt. Yaw, a long time resident of Ghana.
Capt. Yaw is Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Engineer at WAASPS, and Pilot/Engineer with Medicine on the Move, Humanitarian Aviation. He also writes a column in the Business and Financial Times in Ghana. Here are his web sites.