Dagomba dancing and drumming

Dagomba Dancing Drumming

Dagomba Drumming and Dancing

The history of Dagomba’s are to a large part narrated through the practice of drumming and dancing. Apart from that – taking part in or witnessing a Dagbamba dancing and drumming performance  is really an entraining and uplifting experience. At Voluntary Aid Africa we have good established contacts with professional Drummers, and can offer good opportunities for anyone interested to learn and participate in this cultural practice. There are also several online resources to learn more about the tradition. For example:

N’Banga Cultural Group >>

Dagomba Dance and Drumming >>

Drums of the Dagbon >>


10% of Ghana’s energy production from renewable sources by 2020


Girls in front of solar panels.

As the first developing country to engage with Sustainable Energy for All, Ghana is developing a national action plan to increase its renewable energy capacity and extend reliable energy access to all of its citizens. By 2020 Ghana’s goal is to generate 10 % of the countries energy production from renewable sources. 

Today Ghana relies on hydropower, and since 2000 the residential electricity demand has increased by 61 %. Partially due to the country’s rapid urbanisation trend, economic growth  and shift in status from being a low income – to a middle income country. Moving away from hydropower towards new renewable sources are thus suggested by some to be a solution for an increased demand. Vibe Ghana.


Shea – A Ghana industry

Shea Nuts is an industry in Ghana.

Shea Nuts is an industry in Ghana.

Shea nut processing is an important and relatively large sector within the northern regions of Ghana. Last week the minister of Trade an Industry announced that the Government is to spend about 5 million Ghana Cedis to boost the industry further. An initiative that is expected to support and develop the industry by constructing new processing plants and train more women.

Read more at Modern Ghana >>

On the theme of Happiness :)

The UNDP (United Nations Development Program) has published a report about the happiest countries in the world (World Happiness Report, 2013). Ghana ranked number 86 out of 156. If the evaluation would have been in terms of smiles – Ghana probably would have made number one, but parameters such as healthy life expectancy and perception of corruption were also taken into account.

Read the full article on The Huffington Post >>

African (Ghanian) architecture

Traditional Dagomba house.

Traditional Dagomba house.

African adobe architecture, and especially in the area around northern Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali, is well known for its remarkable shapes, forms and ornaments. There are all kinds, ranging from The Great Mud Mosque in Djenné, to the stunning paintwork aplied on family-houses in Sirigu. Every tribal group have their own particular way of constructing houses, and in Tamale you will find the typical Dagomba houses both in the central parts of town as well as outside in the local communites. The houses are traditionally build in mud, with a rounded grass roof, and detailed decorations around the entrance.

Check out these other beauties at Pinterest >>

Ghana textiles – a winning concept!

Colourful Ghana textiles.

Colourful Ghana textiles.

Dresses by Ghanian fashion designer Kofi Ansah.

Dresses by Ghanian fashion designer Kofi Ansah.

The winner of episode 4 in the BBS interior-design show The Great Interior Design Challenge used colourful textiles from Ghana in his decor. The Ghanian textile industry is well know all over the world for its remarkable patterns and color compositions.

One of the formost representatives and ambassadors for Ghanian textiles, the renowned designer Kofi Ansah, has created multiple pieces using local fabrics. His work has amazed thousands and some of his lines have been showed at Tigo Glitz African Fashion Week, and sold abroad in London and the US. Today the sad news was released that Mr Kofi Ansah has passed away at the age of 62. 

The reputation and interest for Ghana textiles will most likely continue to blossom world wide, but the local industry is meeting tuff competition from cheap imports, and is currently employing fewer workers than before.

Read more about these challenges >>

Or check out these gorgeous Woodin prints at Pinterest >>

Happiness as a way of measuring development?

Happiness to measure development?

Happiness to measure development?

2015 is the “end” of the UN’s eight Millenium Developmental Goals (MDG’s) – the year when all set goals and milestones are to be met. Every year the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) presents a Human Development Report that aims to illustrate how the worlds countries are doing. The report usually revolve around several social as well as economic aspecs and includes the Human Development Index (HDI), which is a statistical representation of country’s respective indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income.

The last human development report was published in 2013 and named “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a diverse world” (2013). According to that one, Ghana ranked number 135 in the HDI. The indexing was based on figures from 2012 and in the preceding human development report “Sustainability and Equity: A better future for all” (2011), the number (135) was the same. A country’s position in the index is however a relative measurement – so changes or developments within the country can accordingly not be derived solely by looking at the relative position. When the next report and HDI is coming is not yet official, but here at VoluntaryAid we keep our eyes open :)

As an alternative to GDP’s and GNP’s, the HDI is an effective way of addressing other factors than pure finical ones. Another way of measuring development that have received increased attention lately is the consideration of happiness as an indicator for a country’s state of development. Check out this really interesting article about why happiness is a good way to measure development!

Check out the article >>

Tamale – Ghana’s fastest growing city…?

During the last couple of decades Tamale has grown significantly, and transformed from being a collection of villages towards becoming one of Ghana’s most important urban centers.

The drastic changes that have taken place have affected several dimensions of life in the region, and continues to have a notable impact for people both in urban as well as rural communities.

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