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Published: September 9th 2019
Black Star Arch
Black Star Arch in Independence Square. The star is known as the Black Star of Africa and is the symbol of Ghana.
From Abidjan our next and last stop in West Africa was Accra. Our Air Mali flight touched down in Accra in mid-morning. As was the custom on so many of Valene's tours, we would spend but a day in Accra. Clearing customs at Accra Airport, the British influence was noticeable in the uniforms and demeanor of the officials. Ghana had been independent for only 11 years in 1968. The Cold War contest for Africa was evidenced by the Air Mali Ilyushin 18 turboprop on which we had arrived.
A series of taxis proceeded to take our group around the city. Sightseeing of the city focused on the modern structures put in place since independence. Stops were made at Independence Square with the Black Star Arch and at African Unity Circle to view the African Unity Monument. The independence of Ghana in 1957 under Kwame Nkrumah began the African decolonization process. Beginning with the independence of Ghana, Pan-Africanism, as a movement uniting all peoples of the African continent, was attempted in earnest. Pan-Africanism became identified with Nkrumah more than with any other African leader. We also made stops to see the university, governmental buildings and the American Embassy. I have to
African Unity Monument
African Unity Monument at African Unity Circle.
say that a lot of optimism for the future of West Africa was evident in both Abidjan and Accra in 1968.
As our Lufthansa flight to Johannesburg would depart very early the following morning, Valene had booked a single room at the Ambassador InterContinental Hotel for group members to use in the evening. We had dinner at the hotel and I was reminded that ties for gentlemen were a requirement at dinner. The hotel restaurant supplied one, as mine were packed and it appeared a customary thing for them to do.
It was back to the airport at 3:00 a.m. in the morning to catch a Lufthansa flight for Johannesburg. The twice-weekly flight operated from Frankfurt to Johannesburg via Accra. While most through passengers slept, a snack of light sausages was served.
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