Week 3 Blog Africa Urbanism: The Global City

Week 3 Blog

 

Jordan Petruska – 110173680

 

For this week’s blog we were appointed to examine Ato Quayson’s book on Ghana’s capital city of Accra and the journey from its humble historical establishment to the booming cosmopolitan city that it is today. Quayson’s introduction along with chapters 4-6 were very intriguing to see how a posh like city of Accra is a mere mirage to tourists who appear to have blinders on. Quayson describes the busy streets of Accra as a bright star for the rest of Ghana to attest to strive in becoming a prosperous society. However, in reality once someone passes through the city limits of Accra they will see the true face of Ghana where the people in the rural areas continue to endure in the harsh conditions of severe poverty, inequality, and unemployment. A question that rises is how can the government of Ghana expand foreign investment throughout the country instead on having tourist attraction fixated on Accra? The capital city of Accra represents what is right about Globalization, which is the collage of boutiques, and foreign businesses that attract employment, prosperity, and tourists that boost the economy. On the other hand it also represents the bad side of Globalization that preys on corrupt governments in developing countries that creates a false representation on their country’s well being by inviting international companies to invest in big cities or resort towns with the public eye hoping this will rejuvenate the rest of the country. However, it only creates an expanding gap between the wealthy and the poor. Developing governments need to focus on channeling Globalization in a positive way that will enhance the well being of the majority of its citizens from the rural countryside to the urban markets. Globalization is a beautiful concept if used correctly and efficiently and these corrupt political figures need to be replaced with honest and intriguing people before these countries receive any positive fruition of globalization.

 

Quayson’s book reminded me of a particular case study that I examined back in second year when it focused on the impacts of globalization in the resort towns of the Caribbean. I find Accra quite similar to Montego Bay, Kingston, Punta Cana, and Panama City to name a few. These towns are very exotic vacation spots that tourist from the developed world come to visit and spend money. However, for the majority of these cases beyond the lavish paradise set created by the resort there are cities filled with poverty and social disparity that these countries still elude. These are classic examples where foreign business takes advantage of the host community or country where money spent by wealthy tourists ends up leaving the country from foreign owned operators, hotels, airlines, and imported food and beverage. For an average Caribbean resort town every $100 (U.S) that is spent on vacation in the Caribbean only $5 (U.S.) will stay in the developing host country. How cities like Accra adapt to ensure that their economy greatly benefits from foreign visitors?

 

 

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