Ghana has just turned 57! No one could have predicted where the country would be when the British flag was replaced with the Ghanaian black star. Although Ghana is now another year older and wiser, its people are constantly trying new things. And an entrepreneurial wind is (ever) blowing through its cities.
Take Moonlight Cafe, an innovative start up business created by a pair of university students. Kobby Koomson and Sydney Sam launched a platform for music and poetry at the Legon campus of the University of Ghana. They were driven by their love of the arts, and their desire to see new talent, and to share these styles with their peers. That was three years ago. Today, they operate throughout several different campuses, and have finally been able to attract an audience to their events regardless of whether they showcase the hottest stars or the newest acts in the business. Well, it may be business, but these guys are still doing it for the love of local talent. Their goal is to revolutionise the way the music and performance industries operate; making it easier to develop new ideas and focus on new directions.
And the love for local experiences is not just evident on the ground at colleges and nightclubs. People in other countries are beginning to take notice. Consider the SMATI Turtle D-G Series automobile. If you live in Ghana, there is a fair chance that you have never heard of this car, though a remarkable number of Europeans have. And the D-G series is a collaboration between Ghanaian reforms and Dutch norms. This partnership is even making waves in Germany as the D-G series has garnered significant interest from automobile aficionados; causing many Europeans to believe that Ghana will be leading the African technical revolution.
These developments are seemingly tiny, but they stand for something much greater. They are part of an understanding of what it is to be Ghanaian – and that is to be an entrepreneur, a reformer, a developer of people and places. Through Ghana’s birth, it is possible to see why business start ups are so common in the country. After all, on 6 March 1957, Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from the European superpowers of the day.
The movement of ordinary Ghanaian people and their leaders provoked a change that would ripple across the continent, inspiring other nations. Though Ghana has had its share of ups and downs, it is largely regarded as a nation of peace and growing prosperity within the international community.
It should be no surprise then that university students should feel confident that they can lead a musical revolution, or that automobile developers would take Europe by storm. These are simply examples of sentiments inherent in the Ghanaian mindsets.
Happy birthday Ghana! Enjoy the next 57 years of success – and remember – if all else fails, you’ll always have a population full of ideas, and a willingness to spread them to the world.