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Touching Africa, Touching The World!



AUG -OCT 2019 PAGE 10



Becca is back







yoyo tinz festival



3 Foreword

10 Statement socks

Africa World Airlines Head Office - SSNIT Emporium Ground Floor, Airport City Liberation Road PMB CT67 Cantonment Accra, Ghana Tel: +233 24 243 8888 Toll Free: 0800 200 200 Email: FLYafrica Magazine is published for Africa World Airlines by: Land & Marine Publications Ltd 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way Severalls Business Park Colchester, Essex CO4 9RA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Email: ADVERTISING: Matthew Jay, Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Cell: +44 (0)7714 448057 (WhatsApp) Email: The contents and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, or any other organisation associated with this publication. While every care is taken to ensure accuracy in preparing the magazine, the Publisher and Africa World Airlines assume no responsibility or liability for any inaccuracies or omissions. All submitted material is accepted on the understanding that the material can be edited, amended or abridged for publication. ©2019 Land & Marine Publications Ltd Cover image: John Janssen

More awards and achievements for AWA

4 INSIDER information 6 AWAworld

Fashion for the feet from Chale Socks

12 Becca’s life-changing year

Singing star talks business and new baby

16 Legacy of an ‘African icon’

7 EVENTScalendar

The Kofi Annan Living Tribute

20 Bucket List West Africa

8 STARdestination Abuja

You’re never too old for a travel adventure

24 Rice wars

26 INVESTMENT market review

Opportunities for value investors

Which country makes the best jollof?

31 Homegrown hip-hop

A preview of Accra’s yoyo tinz festival

36 The robot girls of Ghana

28 STAYafrica

The Protea Hotel Takoradi Select

Mamfe schoolgirls win Robofest in USA

38 Award-winning Nigerian author

31 WINafrica

FLYafrica competition

Akure-born Chigozie Obioma on new work

42 Support for schools

34 TECHcorner

New projects for Hainan-AWA Foundation

The latest gadgets for a restful sleep

40 DRIVEafrica

The sporty Ford Puma

AWA Information 3 AWAnews 45 AWAroutes

Subscribe to FLYafrica


Book online

46 TRAVELinformation 48 AWAcontacts FLYafrica




MAKING GHANA PROUD Dear passengers, Many cultures around the world have a proverb that states: “The only constant in life is change”. This is true at Africa World Airlines too, as AWA bids goodbye to our highly respected CEO, John Quan. John returns to his family in China after spending nearly three years at the helm of the airline. During John’s tenure, AWA increased our fleet from three to eight aircraft; opened new routes to Abuja, Monrovia and Freetown and became a full member of IATA. On behalf of the Board of AWA and all the staff, we wish John the best in his future endeavours. As an international airline, AWA prides ourselves on the diversity of our team members. We presently employ 18 different nationalities across the different departments in the organization. However, we are proudest of the progress our young Ghanaian team members have made in various technical disciplines. We recently had four engineers complete their Ghana Civil Aviation Authority license exams, as well as the Embraer 145 type-rating course that permits them to maintain and release our fleet of aircraft. We also have promoted two young Ghanaian pilots as Captains, an honour that every young pilot dreams of achieving. We also continue to increase frequencies on our various routes, despite the many operational and bureaucratic hurdles we encounter. The planned launch of our flights to Abidjan has been postponed yet again, due to delays obtaining the necessary permits from

Book online 2

the Government of Cote D’Ivoire. Closer to home, our plans to introduce night flights to Tamale have hit a hurdle since Ghana Airports Company Limited has been unable to extend operating hours of the airport there. We also keenly await the opening of Wa and Ho airports, to enable AWA to bring safe and affordable air transport to a wider base of Ghanaian travellers. Finally, our vision of developing Accra as the aviation hub for West Africa continues to take shape as we expand the scope of our co-operation with South African Airways to include a code-share agreement on selected routes. Passengers can enjoy quick and seamless connections between AWA and SAA flights in Accra’s wonderful new Terminal 3. We also have expanded our own schedule to offer more convenient connections between Lagos or Abuja in Nigeria on one hand, and our West Coast destinations of Freetown and Monrovia on the other. On behalf of the entire AWA team, thank you for choosing to fly with us today. We hope to see you on board another of our flights soon.

Sean Mendis Chief Operations Officer Africa World Airlines

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AWAnews AWA named Best Airline in West Africa

You can rely on us

Africa World Airlines has been named Best Airline in West Africa at the prestigious Balafon Travel Awards. The names of the winners of the awards, which recognise the best performers in the travel and hospitality industry, were announced at the Accra Weizo travel fair. The work of AWA was praised at the event, which is run in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority and was held at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, in Accra. The theme of the June event, which is now in its fifth year, was Seamless Travel in West Africa and AWA was praised for its achievements in this field.

Celebrating our homegrown engineering talent Congratulations to our newest licensed and type-rated Ghanaian engineers, authorized to maintain and release Africa World Airlines Limited’s fleet of Embraer 145 jets!

(Left to Right) : Albert AFLI, Albert Yaw Mensah, Prince Amissah Akesseh, Ben D. K. Seshie (Head of Quality), and Sean Mendis (COO). Also, Samuel Nii Nortey Adumuah (not pictured).

Africa World Airlines is very proud of our investment in local talent, especially in technical fields. Our maintenance and engineering team consists of 83 skilled personnel, of which 97 per cent are Ghanaians.

At Africa World Airlines, we’re proud of our stellar operational performance. Our highly trained and dedicated team members ensure that an overwhelming majority of our passengers are transported safely, reliably and on time to their destinations – as our most recent figures, for June 2019, reveal. AWA is committed to full transparency with the travelling public regarding our operational statistics. We commend Ghana Civil Aviation Authority for the launch of the new Consumer Protection Directives that provide domestic and international airline passengers in Ghana with statutory remedies in case of denied boarding, flight delays or flight cancellations.

Reliability rate for June 2019 • Number of flights: 1,326 • Flights delayed beyond two hours: 2 • Number of passengers booked: 51,782 • Passengers denied boarding: 2 • Schedule reliability: 98.79%

HOW TO BOOK Passengers can book flights online by visiting and using the ‘Book A Flight’ function. You can then choose your flight, book your seats and select your payment method. AWA offers various methods of payment for customers in Ghana and Nigeria including debit/credit card, MTN Mobile Service (Ghana only), Quickteller (Nigeria only) and bank transfer. For detailed information, check out our website.

Book online

Telephone bookings can be made by calling +233 24 243 8888 or our

Toll free number:

0800 200 200 FLYafrica


INSIDER information Warm tones Deep, rich, earthy tones are on trend right now and will add a comfortable, welcoming mood to your home. We’ve chosen a variety of products that show just how versatile warm tones can be – whether you layer oranges, browns and creams for a rustic feel or use just one bold accessory to stand out in an all-white room.









HAND TUFTED SHAGGY RUBY RUG (available in three sizes from US$ 86)

All products displayed can be shipped to all countries globally.

A round-up of West Africa news and events Kwabena Akuamoah-Boateng | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-2.0


Man, let’s go to the Chale Wote Street Art Festival If you want evidence of why Ghana is known as the cultural capital of Africa, head down to Accra’s Jamestown district between 9 and 25 August. You’ll be joined by thousands of others to soak up the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, in which the streets of the capital are given over to film premieres, skate shows, art exhibitions (over 200 artists are involved), music and dance. This gathering of Africa’s most innovative artists and thinkers has been running since 2011 and has grown into the one of the country’s most eagerly anticipated and best-attended events. Adding to the electric atmosphere is the creative crowd, with many festival-goers treating themselves as works of art and dressing up for the event. You’ll see people resplendent in traditional tribal costumes as well as many hoping to steal the show in striking modern fashion. There’s still time to volunteer as a festival manager, reserve a stall at the festival’s Vendor Park venue or even book a guided tour of the event to make the most of your visit. Email

Giuseppe Crimeni | Shutterstock

Exhibition examines work of storytelling architect


Sir David Adjaye is considered one of the world’s most innovative and in-demand architects working today. He was born in Dar es Salaam to Ghanaian parents – his father’s role as a diplomat took them to the Tanzanian commercial capital – and his African ancestry has been intrinsic to his career. Perhaps his best-known work is the highly acclaimed Smithsonian National

Actor has sideline restoring antique furniture The American actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, who made his name as the murderous Chris Partlow in HBO series ‘The Wire’, has recently been on the Broadway stage in an adaptation of Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ on the Broadway stage. A recent career path divergence has seen this son of Nigerian parents work on revamping classics in a different way – as a furniture restorer. The 40-year-old took a course in furniture upholstery after a tattered armchair caught his eye while house-hunting in Brooklyn, New York. It began as a hobby, but has developed into a business. Enitan Vintage – Enitan means ‘person of story’ in Yoruba culture – was launched three years ago and offers for sale a collection of restored baroque settees and wingbacks of Western provenance, which Akinnagbe has re-dressed primarily using West African Dutch wax fabrics. To take a look at his beautiful work, visit

Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, inspired by Yoruban art. Away from his day job, he has travelled extensively in Africa and his photographs, taken on trips to every capital city in the continent, have been turned into a seven-volume book. Recently Ghana has featured heavily among his commissions. In May he created the earth-house pavilion to display work by Ghanaian artists at the Venice Art Biennale and last year his dramatic designs for the new 5,000-seat cathedral to be built beside


Everett Collection |



Republic Paint Night Accra Budding artists who fancy creating something on canvas while enjoying delicious drinks and food with friends and more Accra arty types should head for the Republic Bar and Grill on Mondays. Artists of every standard – including complete beginners – are encouraged to come along. It costs GHc 50 for your own canvas – there are discounts available for large groups – and no pre-registration is required, just turn up. The evening runs at the Osu restaurant, bar and entertainment venue from 7 pm to 11 pm. Republic Bar and Grill, Asafoatse Tempong Street, Accra.

Festival of Urban Christian Music Abidjan The cream of gospel rap, trap, zouglou and reggae comes to Abidjan. The event begins on 15 August with three days of workshops and presentations tackling topics such as promoting peace and non-violence through music and culminates in a grand concert of urban Christian music on Sunday, 18 August.


To register for the event, visit the festival’s Facebook site.

Adire Heritage Festival Lagos This event celebrates the indigenous textile industry of Nigeria – adire is the indigo-dyed cloth made in south-western Nigeria by Yoruba women – that is such a strong global export. The event, held at Novare Lekki Mall in Lagos, is in its second year and activities across its four days aim to showcase Yoruba textiles and its heritage on a global platform through fashion, music, lifestyle, poetry, sculptures, dance, and food. 19 to 22 September, Lagos. 10 am to 9 pm.

We Can Leadership Conference Freetown This empowering event, held at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Freetown, Sierra Leone, aims to motivate and train women to pursue their life goals in their personal lives and in their working careers. Inspirational leaders will be there to share insights from their journey, how they discovered their gifts and the passion that drives them to do what they do successfully. There will be inspiring talks, panel discussions and workshops on how to improve your communication skills and business networking. This is the conference’s 10th year and to mark the milestone all events are free to attend. Saturday, 7 September, 1 pm to 6 pm. RCCG Mount of Olives, 4 Edna Drive, off Wilkinson Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone.


Accra’s Osu Cemetery were unveiled. British-Ghanaian Adjaye – he was knighted by the British royalty in 2017 – is currently the subject of an exhibition at London’s Design Museum, which looks at the storytelling quality of some of his most famous monuments and memorials.

Felabration Lagos This world-renowned annual festival of music and arts commemorates the life and times of Nigerian’s foremost musical icon, the late, great Fela Kuti. The week-long celebration champions the legacy of the multi-instrumentalist composer, founding father of the Afrobeat music genre and human rights activist. It takes place around 15 October, Kuti’s birthday, and involves dance and art competitions, theatre pieces, culminating in a music concert at the

David Adjaye Making Memory runs at the Design Museum in Kensington, London, until 4 August. For more information, visit

New Afrika Shrine, 2,000-capacity open air entertainment centre in Ikeja. Among the high-class artists who have played the festival include Hugh Masekela, Femi Kuti, Lucky Dube, Awilo, Baba Maal, Les Nubians, King Sunny Adé, Lagbaja, Asa, TuFace, Sauti Sol and Seun Kuti. From Monday to Sunday, 14 to 20 October.





With AWA now offering 10 flights per week each way between Accra and Abuja, there’s never been a better time to visit Nigeria’s made-to-measure federal capital. The city’s striking location – slap band in the heart of the country – is defined by the looming Aso Rock, a 400-metre monolith. Much of Abuja’s man-made architecture is on a similarly gigantic scale with magnificent edifices such as the National Mosque, with its golden dome glistening in the sun. The city has expanded apace – it is one of the world’s fastest growing cities with a population of 2.5 million – yet it does not share the chaos and clamour of Lagos. Indeed, it has maintained a rather serene ambience with great swathes of green parks, wonderful vistas to feast the eyes on and a vibrant food and art scene.


Uzoma Ozurumba | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0


TRAVEL: AWA flies every day of the week between Accra and Abuja with a flight leaving Kotoka International Airport at 9.40 am (Greenwich Mean Time) with an arrival time of 12.30pm (West African Standard Time) in Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The aircraft then returns Monday through Sunday, leaving Abuja at 1.10 pm and touching down in Accra at 2pm. There is also a 6.40 pm flight leaving Accra on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, getting into Abuja at 9.30 pm. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays an 8 am flight leaves Abuja, getting into Accra at 8.50 am. To book your ticket, visit SEE: According to a survey by the design-focused weblog Hongkiat, the Abuja National Mosque is among the top 50 most beautiful religious centres in the world with its golden dome and four minarets dominating the skyline of Abuja. The cavernous interior houses a library, a conference hall and a religious school. As long as prayers are not in progress non-Muslims are welcome to look around, but taking pictures is not allowed. A far more idiosyncratic architectural marvel can be found up in the affluent hilltop suburbs of the city. The private home, known locally as the Abuja Airplane House, was designed as a sort of jet set Taj Mahal by Lebanese businessman Jammal Said in tribute to his travel-loving wife. The result is a colonial-style home roofed by what looks like an aircraft’s cockpit, cabin and wings. The wings each contain a bedroom and bathroom, the cabin a living room and bar and the cockpit is a games room.

DO: Take the Suleja-Minna Road out of Abuja and you’ll find Gurara Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in central Nigeria. It’s a beautiful spot for a picnic and a swim and the drive out there will also take you past the iconic Zuma Rock, the 725 metre-high monolith that appears to assume human features – a visible mouth, eyes and nose – as you get closer and is thought to have mystical powers. Abuja has been landscaped with plenty of green spaces. Chief among them is Millennium Park with its manicured lawns and water fountains. Jabi Garden to the west of the city is also a great place to hang out at and gaze out across its placid lake. Abuja may be a hub for Nigeria’s financial and political system, but it also does much to champion the country’s art scene at home and abroad. The Thought Pyramid Art Center has a modern exhibition hall showcasing work by some of the country’s finest artists and also acts as a training centre for artists and curators with workshops throughout the year. For traditional arts and crafts head to Abuja Art and Craft Village, a series of thatch-roofed huts selling sculptures, jewellery, masks, leather bags and clothes. Around 30 km from the centre of Abuja, but definitely worth a visit

is Bwari Pottery Village. Here you’ll be guided through the process of making the wonderful vases, casserole dishes, teapots and decorative lanterns, which are available to buy here. Handicrafts along with just about anything you else you need can be found at Wuse Market, which has transformed a one-time secondary school building into Abuja’s most popular market. EAT: The Indian-Nigerian restaurant Wakkis with its succession of pointy roofs is a very popular dining spot in the city’s Wuse district. You can see your food being prepared in the traditional clay oven in the open kitchen. A range of tandoori dishes is available along with much to tempt the vegetarian diner. If you want to sample some traditional Nigerian cuisine, check out Jevinik, which has some of the best in the city. SLEEP: The Nordic Hotel, in the Abuja’s affluent Mabushi district, brings effortlessly cool Scandinavian style to Abuja. The rooms and suites are all clean lines and maximised natural light and there are hosts of extras to enjoy such as a spa and a massive gym. It also boasts what is considered the best swimming pool in Abuja, which you can either plunge into or enjoy from the decking while enjoying a meal at the hotel’s Lebanese cuisineinfluenced restaurant Blucabana. FLYafrica


Socks appeal Until very recently, men’s socks were mostly monochromatic affairs, but the arrival of the vibrant, Ghanaian-heritage-inspired Chale Socks has injected some much-needed colour.


t’s now possible to express

world of men’s socks and to promote

your pride in Ghana’s cultural

Ghanaian cultural symbolism.

heritage right down to your

“We wanted to transform a simple,

of bold patterned socks that draw on

feet. The means of this is a range

everyday accessory into bold,

the wisdom-packed Adinkra symbols

of socks primarily patterned with

African-inspired wearable art,” says

that relate to the history, beliefs and

the timeless and evocative Adinkra

Kudjo. “African-inspired accesso-

philosophy of the Ashanti people in

symbols of the Ashanti. The Ghana-

ries were popular at the time, but

Ghana and have decorated ceramics

designed garments themselves are

African-inspired socks were not so

and textiles for centuries.

soft, sturdy and with just the right

common, so we went there.”

amount of stretch – they’re made

Among the evocative motifs Kudjo has appropriated in his socks are

from 78 per cent combed cotton,


17 per cent polyester and three per

Growing up in the kente-weaving

cent spandex – so are as lovely to

town of Agotime-Kpetoe, in the

wear as to look at.

Volta Region, Kudjo frequently

wards while its feet face forward

observed expert craftsmen

carrying a precious egg in its mouth

parts fashion item, symbol of

producing beautiful yards of kente

– and ‘Gye Nyame’, a symbol repre-

national pride and socially responsi-

cloth. It led to an appreciation of

senting God’s omnipotence and the

ble enterprise.

African art and craftsmanship.

deep knowledge that people should

Kudjo brings the colours, careful

not fear anything except God.

Welcome to Chale Socks: equal

The company was set up by


In the company studio in Tema he and his team have designed a range

‘Sankofa’ – which translates as ‘Go FOUNDER Kurtis Kudjo

back and get it’ and is symbolised by a bird with its head turned back-

designer Kurtis Kudjo in 2015 out of

design process and expert execu-

a desire to bring some colour and

tion he witnessed to the design and

a sock brand that focused on idol

“We didn’t just want to create

artistry to the resolutely dowdy

production of Chale Socks.

patterns,” says Kudjo. “We wanted to

utilise our creative ideas to express strong pride in our cultural heritage.” The debut Chale Socks collection featured seven Adinkra designs and has continued to grow with recent vivid additions including ‘Chaskele’

Chale Socks provides one pair of flip-flops to a needy child for every pair of its socks sold

The idea for Chale Socks took place as a movement that would not only help Kudjo make his mark and make his living, but also have a positive impact on the lives of others. “In Africa, we find creative ways to survive,” says Kudjo. “We push

and ‘Deka’ that playfully combine

to include radio and TV presenter

through, we hustle. Essentially, life

different Adinkra symbols.

Yinka Bokinni and beauty and

is art.”

It’s rare for socks to be the stars

fashion bloggers Frédérique Harrel

of catwalk shows but the effer-

and Gary Thompson, all from the

Future plans

vescent Chale Socks range has

UK, as well as two US stars – lifestyle

The hustling Chale Socks founder

graced Accra Men’s Fashion Week in

blogger CeCe Olisa and rapper

promises much more to come from

2016, the exclusive African Fashion

Kamaiyah Johnson – who have all

the company with exciting new

Festival in New Zealand in 2017 and

been seen sporting Chale pieces.

product lines and collaborations

last year saw the brand appear at

It’s not surprising that Chale’s

being hatched as well as moves

the renowned Glitz Fashion Week

statement socks have been a hit

to bring the production process

in Accra where it teamed up with

with influencers such as these who

–currently carried out by a skilled

another home-grown company, Mr

have all chosen to pursue their own

team in South Korea – to Africa.

Pos Clothing, known for its equally

path in life and create change along

Keep your eyes on Chale Socks’

vibrant range of ties.

the way. Anyone who buys a pair

social media pages for the latest

of Chale Socks is making a strong


Celebrity customers The rising renown of Chale Socks has seen the company tailor for the

fashion statement and also helping those less fortunate. Chale Socks provides one pair

toes of some of the biggest names

of flip-flops – the company name

in Ghana and not just men – they are

combines the Ghanaian icebreaker

also proving popular with women.

‘chale or ‘buddy’ with ‘chale wote’,

Celebrities such as the Godfather

the local word for flip-flops or slip-

of Hip Life, Reggie Rockstone,

pers – to a needy child in Ghana for

renowned TV personality and

every pair of its socks sold.

fashion designer K.O.D and boxer

The pledge reflects the desire to

Joseph Agbeko have featured the

give back and to impact lives that

socks on their social media pages.

runs deep within the company. Kudjo

The Chale Socks range is currently

was affected by the number of chil-

retailing in Ghana, Kenya and the

dren he saw walking barefoot when

United States, widening the fanbase

he was growing up.

Need to know The socks come in sizes US 7 to 13, UK 6.5 to 12.5 and EU 40 to 46. To browse the collection and order socks, visit Currently orders over US$ 50 will entitle the buyer to a free pair of socks. Shipping is free. Orders within Ghana will arrive within one working day while international orders can take one to three weeks. Email any questions to: hello@



‘Being a wife and a mum has given me a totally new perspective on life’

Q. You’ve been in the music business for 12 years now, but I saw on your Instagram page that you’ve watched yourself ‘grow like never before’ this year? What happened? A: In 2018 I got married [to Nigerian entrepreneur and manager Daniel Oluwa Tobi Sanni] and we wanted to start a family. In early 2019 I became a mother. These two distinct experiences have totally given me a new perspective to life.

Rebecca Akosua Acheampomaa Acheampong, better known to her legions of fans as Becca, is one of Ghana’s most popular musical artists as well as being an actress and successful businesswoman – her beauty salon Kora Spa opened in Accra in May last year. Ahead of the release of her new album on Zylofon Music, Becca talks to FLYafrica about how getting married and having her first child have changed her life and her pride at having some of music’s biggest stars help mark her 10 years as a recording artist.

Q. You like to diversify. As well as the music, you act and have set up Kora Spa in the last year. What inspired you to set up the spa and what has the experience of running a business been like? A. Beauty and hospitality have always been passions of mine. Setting up Kora Spa is all part of the Becca five-year expansion plan. Running a business is something I have been doing for the past 12 years, but dabbling into a new business comes with new experiences, from micro management, customer acquisition, brand visibility to accounting. Q. I saw a recent photo shoot of you and Shatta Wale. Are you collaborating on some new music? A. I released a new song on 5 July titled ‘Driving Licence’ and it features Shatta Wale. It’s a build-up to my upcoming album, scheduled for release later in the year.  Q. You competed in school music competitions when you were young.

Images: Frozzen Second Studios – Styling by Kelvin Vincent

What do you remember about that


time? A. It was just so much fun. There was no pressure whatsoever. I remember trying to sing like TLC and Destiny’s Child. Q. You’ve won a huge number of awards for your music. Is there one that means the most to you? A. Every award comes with its own emotion, they all mean the same to me. We go through different

I am a very proud and well brought up Asante woman. I am a strong feminist and advocate for the girl child

experiences producing and promoting the records, so the biggest satisfaction is when people actually enjoy the music. An award is a piece of memorabilia that helps you sometimes recall and appreciate the physical experiences of making the record. Q. In your music you collaborate with traditional Ghanaian musicians as well as upcoming stars. Is it important to you to connect different generations in music? A. Music is like chemical combinations – you can either stand alone and survive as an ‘element’ or you combine with other elements to form something more sustainable, useful

PLAN Becca is building her music and business profile

or enjoyable by human beings. If you want to go fast in life, go alone. But if you want to go far, go with someone

Shatta Michy, Akwaboah, Kwabena

– that’s the power of collaboration.

Kwabena, Joyce Blessing, Royal Chris and many more got involved.

Q. One of your most popular songs

My fans mean everything to me.

is ‘African Woman’. What message

They have been behind the brand

were you trying to put across in that

for over a decade and still waxing

song and how proud are you of your

stronger with their love and support.


I can’t thank them enough. They are

A. I am a very proud and well

called BeccaHearts.

brought up Asante woman. I am a strong feminist and advocate for

Q. You give back time to help your

the girl child. ‘African Woman’ was

community. Can you tell me more

a song I did thinking about myself

about the work you do?

and every woman out there that is

A. I have an initiative

putting in the work daily to make this

called the Becca Hearts

continent a beautiful and habitable

Foundation [set up

place to leave. The record was done

in partnership with

in full recognition and appreciation

Touching the Lives

of the salt of the land – women.

of Girls Foundation International, the

Q. To mark your 10th anniversary as

Ghana Ministry of

a recording star, you held a concert

Education and Zylofon

to thank your fans. What do your

Media]. The primary

fans mean to you and how pleas-

aim of this initiative is

ing was it to have so many stars

to advocate, educate,

celebrate with you at that event?

fund, rehabilitate and

A. It was a memorable night to mark

promote the girl child. The

a significant milestone and I was

secondary aim, however, is

lucky to have my colleagues take

to provide sensitisation and

time out of their business schedules

literacy for the boy child to be

to support me. Mzvee, Shatta Wale,

more receptive, respectful and

StoneBwoy, Sarkodie, Edem, Kidi,

accommodating of the girl child,

Kuame Eugene, Wizkid, Niniola,

with the large aim of building sense

Wande Coal, Mr. Eazi, DJ Spinall, Ice

of equal gender treatment and

Prince, MI, Patoranking, R2Bees, VIP,

participation at all levels.



Living Memorial

taking the legacy of Kofi Annan into the future Ghana and Africa World Airlines are part of the development of the Liberia-initiated Kofi Annan Living Memorial, which aims to spread the ideals of the muchmissed former United Nations Secretary General. Olubanke King-Akerele, the former Liberian Minister of Foreign Affairs, reveals the genesis and work of the memorial.


n Issue 3 of FLYafrica, AWA

with the Kofi Annan Institute for

joined Ghana and the world at

Conflict Transformation (University

second man to hold the title of UN

large in paying tribute to the

of Liberia) and the Angie Brooks

Secretary General. The Swedish

former Secretary General of the

International Centre for Women’s

economist worked and died fighting

United Nations, Kofi Annan, who

Empowerment, Leadership

for peace in today’s Democratic

left to join the ancestors on 18

Development, International Peace

Republic of the Congo (then Congo).

August last year, aged 80.

and Security.

He and Kofi Annan are the only UN

In his eulogy upon the death

The concept was launched as

Secretaries General to receive a

of Kofi Annan, Ghana’s President

part of the observation of United

Nana Akufo-Addo said: “His was a

Nations Day in Liberia. Further

life well lived,” while the current UN

developments are to be piloted

attended the 2001 event in Uppsala,

Secretary General, António Guterres,

in a select number of countries

Sweden, marking the 40th anniver-

in his eulogy at the funeral in Accra,

this year.

sary of Hammarskjold’s death, and

said: “Kofi Annan was the United

Nobel Peace Prize. In his ultimate UN role, Annan

he spoke of the ideas behind the

Nations; the United Nations was Kofi



Living Memorials are established

“In Zambia, too – which, as you

as a tribute to commemorate the

know, was where he actually died

2018, the concept of the Kofi

life, work and ideals of the person

– Hammarskjold’s death is commem-

Annan Living Memorial (KALM)

they commemorate. In this case, the

orated annually. The Zambian

was launched by the Liberian

KALM is being modelled after the

Government, together with your

President George Weah and the

Dag Hammarskjold Living Memorial

own, and the United Nations System,

UN System in Liberia in association

in Zambia.

has launched a Living Memorial,

A few months later, on 24 October


Dag Hammarskjold was the

Living Memorial.

Martin Good |

There can be no better way to commemorate Annan than promoting the ideals that he held so dear we say, with Liberia in the lead, there can be no better way to commemorate Annan than promoting the ideals which he held so dear through the establishment of a similar memorial – The KALM – taking his legacy into the future. Why Liberia? The country benefited from the largest UN peacekeeping force under Annan’s tenure. It brought Liberia back into the comity

joyful | shutterstock

of nations from the brink of self-

SUCCESSOR Kofi Annan with Ban Ki-moon

the pilot phase will develop its own programme as it relates to conflict

destruction, for which the Liberian

prevention, mitigation and realisa-

government and its people will be

tion of the sustainable development

forever grateful. At the same time,

goals in concert with the UN system

during his farewell visit in 2006 at

and in partnership with the KAICT in

the end of his tenure, Annan received


from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the nation’s highest honour, the

Young diplomats

which includes a programme to

Most Venerable Order of the Knights

Liberia is leading the way, having

educate young Africans as messen-

of the Pioneers, with the grade of

already launched its pilot in concert

gers of peace as well as a centre for

Grand Cordon.

with the UN System Programmes

peace, good governance and human

The then Peace Centre at the

in March. Among its key compo-

rights. There could be no better way

University of Liberia was trans-

nents are the development of Kofi

to commemorate him than promot-

formed through an Act of Liberia’s

Annan young diplomats for conflict

ing these ideals, which he held so

national legislature,, with Annan’s


blessings and endorsement, into

Liberia leads tribute

the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT), providing

That year Annan sent Ambassador

amongst others graduate diplomas.

Olara Otunnu, Under Secretary

The Institute also serves as execut-

General of the UN and Special

ing agency for some critical UN and

Representative of UNSG on Children

Government security-related and

and Armed Conflict, as his personal

peace training programmes.

representative to witness the work of

prevention and the realisation of the INSPIRATION Fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner and UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold Image: Wikimedia Commons | CC0-1.0

sustainable development goals; Kofi Annan Clubs for conflict prevention for senior high school pupils; and sixweek workshops promoting Annan’s values and ideals for out-of school youths; and an Educational Board Game: Sustaining Liberia’s Peace. We are pleased to note that

Thus, the KALM represents yet

already the first batch of 30 Kofi

the Dag Hammarskjold programme

another of the KAICT programmes

Annan young diplomats is to be

in Zambia, where I served as

which, together with the Angie

certificated under Liberia’s pilot,

head of the UN System (Resident

Brooks Centre, work with the

on the first anniversary of Annan’s

Coordinator) and the Secretary

UN System Programme and

death on 18 August, thanks to the

General’s representative for develop-

Government of Liberia.

initial support of the office of the

ment activities. Eighteen years later

Each country participating in

UN High Commissioner for Human FLYafrica


advanced with the development of the pilot in Ghana, which will involve the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, the Ghana International School, the UN system and Africa World Airlines. The Government of Liberia, through its ambassador in Ghana, brought the initiative to the attention of the Ghanaian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

An African icon There can be no doubt the legacy of Annan, whom Chinery-Hesse describes as “the African icon”, is being taken into the future through the establishment of the KALM and we are pleased Africa World Airlines is identifying with this endeavour. Furthermore, this writer also communicated by letter the same Rights – most appropriate, given that

my personal good wishes and ask for

Annan put human rights at the core

the blessings of God for sustained

of his mission.

success for this worthy initiative.

The former UN Under Secretary General, Mary Chinery-Hesse, said:


directly to President Nana AkufoAddo underscoring the gratitude of Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic, for Annan’s role  in putting in place

May it attain all the noble objectives

the largest UN peace keeping force


during his tenure that brought

“I want to commend the UN system

The Liberian pilot also envis-

in Liberia as well as the Government

ages partnerships with other pilot

our nation back into the comity of nations, which is evident in the coun-

of Liberia for supporting such a

programmes in other countries.

try’s spearheading of this initiative

groundbreaking initiative. I extend

For example, discussions are well

along with the UN.

‘A powerful legacy will be preserved’ – tributes to Kofi Annan In his closing remarks on the launching

Liberian President Ellen Johnson

this African icon, an indefatigable

of the Liberian pilot in March, the

Sirleaf said: “I salute this initiative to

combatant for peace, understanding

Assistant UN Secretary General and

honour the former United Nations

and harmony amongst the peoples

Resident Coordinator in Liberia,

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, our

of the world. His sterling services to

Yacoub El Hillo, said: “Without Kofi

fallen leader and mentor who never

mankind leading the United Nations,

ceased to work for peace throughout

and his humility and humanity will,

Annan we are no doubt poorer as a


people and a global human community.

the world.”

But it is through initiatives like the

Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, UN

inspire generations unborn. Please

Kofi Annan Living Memorial that this

Special Representative of the SG for

accept my total respect for this noble

powerful legacy will be preserved, so

West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS),

gesture. Rest assured that you have

that it continues to guide and inspire us

said: “We all greatly admire the

my full support in this noble living

as we all strive for a peaceful world’.

immeasurable contributions of

memorial initiative.”

for a long time to come, continue to



Boštjan Selinšek

FLYafrica competition

WIN A BEACH ESCAPE FOR TWO FLYafrica is offering a chance for one lucky reader and their guest to enjoy a night’s stay at the Meet Me There Eco Home Lodge. This idyllic eco-retreat sits on the edge of a still saltwater lagoon between the rural fishing villages of Dzita and Dzita-Abledomi in Ghana’s Volta Region and offers breathtaking views of the unspoilt Ada coast. Guests can take a boat trip, visit local markets or just lounge on parasol-shaded armchairs at the beach bar, complete with a jetty that stretches out into the dreamy lagoon. You’ll be staying in the lodge’s top-of-the-range two-room Chief Suite, a haven of tranquillity. It’s the perfect day’s detox from the urban tumult.

Akintola Tem itope


To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, answer the questions below based on stories found in Issue 5 of FLYafrica and email them to Good luck!

QUESTIONS 1. Which West African country initiated the Kofi Annan Living Memorial? 2. What type of pepper gives the Ghanaian version of jollof rice its fiery flavour? 3. Who does Becca collaborate with on her new song ‘Driving Licence’? COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Closing date is 10 October 2019. Photographs should be sent along with your entry. One entry per person. Entrants must be 18 or over. The winning entry will be selected by Land & Marine Publications Ltd. This competition is not open to employees of Africa World Airlines, Meet Me There Eco Home Lodge or Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

Akintola will receive a handcrafted Mini Aitch platter, one of the best-selling products from Ghana-based home decor design company Studio Badge. Well done and thanks for flying AWA. Visit for more information. FLYafrica


West Africa’s

American actor and rapper Will Smith has recently turned 50 and has used the milestone as a spur to challenge himself with bucket list adventures. To less online fanfare, FLYafrica editor Mark Edwards has also reached his half century and here he reveals why West Africa is full of once-in-a-lifetime locations to inspire visitors in their later years.

age is just a number, which is


similarities between myself and the

I’ve never let myself experience

true; it’s just that when you

multi-millionaire film star and rapper

before and I’m doing my bucket list

reach 50 and beyond it’s a really,

is slim at best, we have both recently


really massive number.

passed our 50th birthday. Smith has

eople are fond of saying that

Just last week I reached my half

HITTING 50 Mark Edwards

Will Smith agrees. While the list of

trying to experience all of the things

These bucket list activities

used the milestone as a chance to

have taken Smith and his entou-

century; and while I’m aware that

tackle his fears. When Smith turned

rage around the world. The

there are a few strands of life it

50 in 2018 he launched his ‘Will

‘Independence Day’ star has run a

would be age-appropriate for me

Smith’s Bucket List’ series on

marathon in Cuba, dived with sharks

now to renounce – parkour, skinny

Facebook, full of thrilling endeavours

in the Bahamas, climbed an active

jeans and vodka jelly shots among

Smith has taken on to, as the site

volcano on the aptly named Sicilian

them – I’ve decided to see it as an

puts it, “punch fear in the mouth”.

island of Vulcano, skydived in Abu

alarm call to enjoy new experiences


Image: Kaliva /


On ‘The Ellen Show’ on American

Dhabi and tried Bollywood dancing

and make the most of my remain-

television, Smith said: “Part of what

in Mumbai among many other

ing years.

I’ve been doing in my 50th year is

globetrotting experiences.

DESTINATIONS Ride the waves at Africa’s surfing secret Liberia can lay claim to being Africa’s surfing capital. While Monrovia has several surfing beaches, the coastal town of Robertsport, about 50 miles from the capital, has been described as the greatest undiscovered surf spot in Africa. With vast stretches of deserted beaches to choose from, surfing enthusiasts won’t be fighting for waves here.

Castle hop along the ‘Gold Coast’ The coast of Ghana was once a hub of activity for scores of European traders who came to trade in gold, timber and, eventually, slaves. The architectural legacy of this dark period in history is evident in the forts, castles and trading posts that still dot the 539 km coastline. Among them is St George’s Castle in the scenic fishing town of Elmina. This majestic whitewashed castle – for 250 years the headquarters of the West Indies Company – hides a dark past; and a guided tour of its museum and its dungeons is a stark reminder of how terribly cruel the slave trade was.

Few of us have the means of Smith to string together such a grand adventure, but there are plenty of once-in-a-lifetime places to visit in West Africa that will open your eyes to the wonders of life and inspire adventure and urgency in your later years. I will certainly be adding some of the destinations below to my bucket list and soon – as time is running out. As Smith, then known as The Fresh Prince, said in his 1993 hit ‘Boom! Shake The Room’: “Tick, tick, tick, boom!”

Hang with the primates Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary, in Sierra Leone, is run as a conservation research project and is teeming with wildlife. The 12 sq km island is home to over 700 plant species, 11 species of primates – including Diana monkeys and chimpanzees – and 135 bird species, plus otters, sea turtles and the endangered pygmy hippopotamus, whose closest relative is thought to be the whale. You can stay at a campsite on the island and go on a guided tour of the forests, alive with monkey calls, and take a canoe trip through the rapids of the crocodile-friendly Moa River. FLYafrica


Explore a village built on water

Cross the world’s largest man-made lake Travelling the length of Ghana’s Lake Volta between Akosombo in the south and Yeji in the north is a wonderful adventure. The ferry that takes you on this 30-hour journey is commonly referred to as the ‘yam boat’ because, apart from other passengers, you may just have to share space with livestock and lots of vegetables. It’s possible to reserve one of the few cabins for a price, but sleeping on deck has the benefit of the cooling breeze and the chance to chink bottles of cold beer with new friends while enjoying the view and the spectacular sunset.

Around 90 km west of Takoradi amid the marshlands of Ghana’s Amansuri Lagoon is one of the country’s most singular sights: the Nzulezo stilt village. About 500 people live in the village, getting about by canoe – families will have one for the father, one for the mother and one for the children – to travel between the homes, all built with raffia palm. The palm is also used to make the local gin, which draws visitors to this charming fishing village.

Walk Africa’s longest canopy walkway The Lekki Conservation Centre, in Lagos, is home to a 401 metre walkway that provides a bird’s-eye view over the protected 190 acres of wetlands of the Lekki Peninsula. While you’re here, you can check out the koi and tilapia ponds, bird hides, beach volleyball courts, zip lines, tree house and miles of nature walks.

Hike the dunes of the Lompoul Desert Senegal is known for its mangroves and lagoons, but if you head 150 km south of St Louis you’ll reach the orange-tinted dunes of the Lompoul Desert. This small desert, covering just 18 sq km, can be explored on foot, by camel or on a quad bike.

Take a dip in the paradise of the Cascades The rustic Côte d’Ivoire town of Maun is majestically set, coralled by seemingly endless swathes of verdant plantain farms and cocoa plantations and with the country’s highest peaks of Tonkoui and Toura looming over it. Wander a little out of town and you’ll come to the Cascades, a tumbling natural staircase of a waterfall with crystal-clear waters that collect in a pool below, providing an idyllic spot for a swim outside the dry season of July to October. 22


Rice rivalry

Ghana and Nigeria still battling over who makes the best jollof

The (mostly) good-natured rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria over which country makes the best-tasting jollof rice is sure to intensify as Jollof Rice Day, in which dishes from the two countries are sampled on 22 August to see which is superior, approaches. AWA passengers don’t have to wait until then, with flights every day of the week from Accra to Lagos and Abuja giving them a chance to sample the national delicacy in both countries. Here, FLYafrica finds out more about delicious but contentious jollof rice and, if you fancy conducting a taste test in your own home, we have recipes from top Nigerian and Ghanaian chefs to try out.


oth Ghanaians and Nigerians believe there is far more than just a grain of truth in their belief

that their respective countries originated and make the best-tasting jollof rice. The one-pot dish varies across West Africa, but the principle is always rice cooked in a spiced blend of tomatoes and onion, which gives it its rich red colouring. Variations exist in Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia and beyond, but a rivalry has developed between Ghana and Nigeria over the respective merits of their adaptations of the dish. It’s a duel that has, of course, been taken up by social media, but politicians, business tycoons and celebrities have even been caught up in the fray. The jollof rice war hit FLYafrica 23

full steam in 2016 when Ghanaian singer

The Nigerian version uses bay leaf as a

Sister Deborah released the song ‘Ghana

key spice, which helps give it its distinc-

Jollof’ that dismissed the Nigerian recipe

tive rich, smoky flavour. That smokiness

for “tasting funny”. The jollof-shaming

is enhanced in a version of Nigerian

lyrics were apparently a response to Afro

jollof called Party Jollof – because of

Pop singer and proud Nigerian Wizkid,

its frequent centre-stage role at dinner

who has been known to give fans free

party tables and banquets – where the

bowls of jollof rice at his concerts – criti-

dish is cooked over a fire and allowed to

cising Ghanaian jollof in an interview. He

burn at the bottom.

said: “I love Nigerian jollof 100 per cent,

As to which dish is better, it’s probably

but when I go to New York or Ghana, my

safest to play the Zuckerberg card and

friend’s wife makes this crazy jollof with

say they’re both delicious – and you

goat meat. It tastes bad.”

should certainly try them both to make up your own mind.

Origins It’s easier to make a decision when it Frederic Legrand COMEO |

comes to which country originated jollof rice, but the answer is not going to please either Nigerians or Ghanaians. That’s because evidence points to the dish beginning in Senegal and the Gambia among the Wolof people of that region. The Wolof people were also called Such is the febrile nature of the topic,

rice was invented by a woman living near

chose to be diplomatic when he sampled

the Senegal River delta. She began using

the local jollof on a visit to Nigeria in

rice to create her meals during a barley

August 2016. Speaking at an event

shortage. Using rice, fish, vegetables and

in Lagos, the well-briefed billionaire

tomatoes, she created a tasty dish, which

declared: “Yesterday I had jollof rice and

was called jollof. this dish – thieboudienne. In Gambia, it is

that from other neighbouring countries.”

called benachim, which means ‘one pot’. The jollof recipe travelled from Senegal to

enough for some Nigerians to claim

the Gambia, Mauritania and other West

Zuckerberg has endorsed Nigerian jollof

African countries. The Ghanaians and

as the best.

Nigerians mastered the recipe and put

So just what are the differences between jollof rice from Ghana and Nigeria? Well, they begin with the rice used. Ghanaian jollof uses basmati rice while the Nigerian version uses long-grain parboiled rice. Neither grain is native to the country, being imported from Asia. Ghanaians say the parboiling makes the rice too soggy while Nigerians counter that the basmati rice is too starchy.

Hot or not The recipes diverge, too, when it comes to cooking methods. Ghanaians prepare the tomato stew and meat stock and use that to cook the rice at once. Their dish is far spicier than the Nigerian jollof, using shito, an oily condiment made with hot scotch bonnet peppers, ginger, shrimps and onion.


The Senegalese have another name for

told not to compare Nigeria’s jollof rice to Even this cautious response was

Chef Zoe Adjonyoh, daughter of a Ghanaian father and Irish mother, explores her heritage through food in her cookbook ‘Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen’. The recipe for her Ghanaian jollof rice is taken from the book – published by Mitchell Beazley and available at and Amazon – and packs a punch. Zoe says: “What epitomises Ghanaian jollof for me is the sweet, smoky heat from Scotch bonnet chilli – giving just enough robust heat to warm the palate without having to reach for a glass of soothing milk — and the distinctive smoky fish flavour from the dried ground crayfish or prawn/shrimp powder. I’ve used chicken here, but you can use whatever meat and vegetables take your fancy.”

the Djolof or Jolof tribe. It is believed jollof

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wisely

shrimp. It was delicious, fantastic. I was

Ghana jollof rice recipe

their own spin on the tasty, filling dish.

Ingredients (serves 6) • 2 large onions, finely chopped  • olive oil or groundnut oil  • 6-8 bone-in chicken portions (thighs or drumsticks)  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves  • 1 large bay leaf  • 5-6 guinea peppers, crushed  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded and diced  • 1 teaspoon crushed sea salt 

• 4 tablespoons groundnut oil or sunflower oil • 1 teaspoon hot chilli powder  • 1 teaspoon curry powder  • 300 g (10 oz) basmati or other longgrain white rice  • Chopped parsley or coriander to garnish  • Shito (hot pepper sauce)  Stage 1 First make the broth. Sweat half the chopped onion in a little oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, add the chicken, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, guinea peppers, Scotch bonnet and sea salt and stir well. Pour in enough water just to cover the ingredients and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4.  Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil or groundnut oil. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  Drain the fragrant broth into a jug and reserve for adding to the rice. 

Stage 2 To make the jollof, heat the four tablespoons of groundnut or sunflower oil in the same pan you used to make the broth, add the remaining chopped onion and sauté over a medium heat for a few minutes until soft. Stir in the chilli powder and curry powder and then stir the broth into the pan. 

Stage 3 Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water to remove as much starch as possible, then drain and stir it into the broth mixture so

Nigerian party jollof rice recipe

Throw in chopped onions and allow

Nigeria-born Eleanor Ajoku currently works in chemical engineering in the United States, but also writes a lifestyle blog ( and hosts the @shesspiritfilled podcast. The blog is full of delicious recipes that draw on her African heritage. Among them is this party jollof rice recipe, which should feed at least four.

Pour in tomato paste and allow to fry

Ingredients • 4 tablespoons canola oil  • 1 tablespoon butter • 4 fresh tomatoes  • 2 red bell peppers • 1 6 oz can tomato paste • 3 large whole red onions • 130 g chopped red onion • 35 g blended crayfish • 4 habanero peppers (based on how spicy you want it to be) • 320 g long-grain parboiled rice • 130 g chicken stock • 1 tablespoon stock cubes • 1 tablespoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and black pepper • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper • 3 single bay leaves  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder • 1/2 teaspoon garlic/onion powder • 1/2 teaspoon thyme • 1/4 teaspoon ginger.

it’s evenly coated. Ladle in the reserved


jollof sauce without stirring, then reduce

Blend tomatoes, red

the heat, cover the pan with foil to keep in the steam and add the lid. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until all the liquid

Wash the rice thor-

By this stage, your chicken in the oven

starch and set aside.

with shito on the side.

ously to avoid burning. Add in your blended mixture, crayfish, stock cubes, cayenne and black pepper, white pepper, bay leaves, curry powder, garlic and thyme. Mix and fry for about 30 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid burning. Add chicken stock and salt. Mix and allow cook for an additional 10 mins. Add in washed rice, and reduce heat to low. Cover pot with aluminium foil to prevent heat from escaping through lid. Cook rice on low heat for about 30 minutes.  Once cooked, mix thoroughly to combine ingredients.  Cover and let cook for an additional 10 minutes. To get the party jollof flavour, turn up the heat and let the rice burn for about three minutes (be careful with this step, so you don’t burn the whole rice).

onions until consistency

Stir through with a fork to fluff up the rice.

tered with the chopped herbs to garnish,

for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring continu-

nero peppers, large red is smooth and set aside.

with the chicken pieces on top, scat-

redness starts to fade.

bell peppers, haba-

has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

should be perfectly crisp. Serve the rice

to fry for about five minutes or until

oughly to rid off

Heat canola oil and butter in a mediumsized pot.

FLYafrica 25

INVESTMENT market review Brought to you by: Strategic African Securities Limited

Equity investors wait on the sidelines as the market highlights opportunities for value investors Equity market indices continue to underperform Recent trading performance on the Ghana Stock Exchange belies generally good business and earnings performance. The GSE Composite Index posted a decline of 6.9 percent for the first half of 2019, led by weakness in financial services and industrial stocks. The top decliners on the stock exchange for the period were Trust Bank of Gambia (down 47.83 percent), SIC Insurance (down 42.11 percent) and Fan Milk (down 37.50 percent). On the plus side, Total Petroleum, Ayrton Drugs and Ecobank Ghana led gainers Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) Number of Listed Securities


Top 5 Companies by Market Value GH¢ Million Tullow Oil 16,404.24 Anglogold Ashanti 15,159.30 MTN Ghana 8,972.05 Ecobank Transnational 2,888.13 Ecobank Ghana 2,738.46


Corporate earnings reported by listed companies so far have been mixed, but are generally good to very strong. For value-oriented or long-term investors, current valuation multiples and dividend yields may represent attractive opportunities.

Selected Market Indices (per cent)


Top Decliners Trust Bank (The Gambia) SIC Insurance Fan Milk Ghana Benso Oil Palm Plantation GOIL Company Source: SAS Equities Desk








We can recommend investment in a portfolio of fast growing companies that have strong fundamentals and good and consistent dividend payment

Top Advancers Open TOTAL Petroleum Ghana 3.40 Ayrton Drugs Manufacturing 0.07 Ecobank Ghana 7.50 Aluworks 0.08 GCB Bank 4.60

Source: GSE, SAS Equities Desk, 2019


Market Activity

Total Market Value GH¢58.73 Billion

Source: GSE, SAS Equities Desk

with 17.65 percent, 14.29 percent and 13.20 percent returns, respectively.

Close Change 4.00 17.65% 0.08 14.29% 8.49 13.20% 0.09 12.50% 4.93 7.17%

Open Close Change 0.23 0.12 -47.83% 0.19 0.11 -42.11% 8 5.00 -37.50% 5.09 3.50 -31.24% 3.12 2.20 -29.49%




histories, to limit downside risk and to potentially benefit from a recovery in share prices. MTN Ghana, for example, has a very strong position in the telecommunications services market, with a solid balance sheet and strong historical growth in earnings and dividends. MTN was trading with an expected dividend yield of 8.73 percent at the end of June. Similarly, GCB Bank, Standard Chartered and Societe Generale were trading with expected dividend yields of 6.09 percent, 5.47 percent and 5.33 percent, respectively at the end of June. Long-term-oriented investors in the stock market who hold diversified

Corporate earnings and actions so far Unilever reported revenue growth of 9.9 percent year-on-year to GHc 632.64 m for full year 2018. Net profit increased 297 percent to GHc 191.3 m, including a large gain on the disposal of the company’s spreads business during the year. (UNIL: down 0.73 percent). MTN Ghana declared an interim dividend of GH¢ 0.02 per share and a final dividend of GH¢ 0.03 for 2018. Revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was reported at GHc 1,191.81 m, up 21.63 percent year-on-year. Net profit fell by a marginal 1.63 percent to GH¢ 215.76 m. (MTNGH: down 7.59 percent YTD). GOIL reported revenue of GH¢ 1,348.6 m for the first quarter of the year, growth of 24.7 percent year-on-year. Net Profit increased 40.6 percent to GH¢ 35.19 m. (GOIL: down 29.49 percent). Standard Chartered announced a Net Interest Income of GH¢ 126.06 m for first quarter 2019, a year-on-year increase of 6.9 percent. Net profit was GH¢ 87.61 m, up 8.4 percent. (SCB: down 9.43 percent). Enterprise Group reported Net Insurance Premium of GH¢ 123.11 m for the first quarter, an 18.00 percent jump year-on year. Net Profit also increased 70.48 percent to GH¢ 16.38 m. (EGL: down 6.25 percent). Ecobank Ghana reported strong revenue growth of 21.24 percent year-on year to GH¢ 343.45 m for the first quarter. Net Profit increased by 50.52 percent to GH¢ 101.49 m. (EGH: up 13.20 percent). First quarter 2019 Net Profit for Republic Bank increased by 19.31 percent year-on-year to GH¢ 17.72 m. Operating Income was reported at GH¢ 81.91 m, up 25.03 percent. (RBGH: down 5.80 percent). GCB Bank reported a 35.20 percent jump in Revenue year-on-year for the first quarter of 2019 to GH¢ 353.82 m. Signaling a recovery in the company’s performance after the assumption of assets and liabilities in 2017.

portfolios have accumulated attractive market returns historically. For example, a holding investment in the SAS Fortune Fund between 2013 and 2018 yielded a compounded annual growth rate of 23.5 percent.

Government of Ghana Treasury Bills Security Tenor Days to Coupon Description Maturity rates GHTB 09/02/19 91 49 N/A GHTB 09/09/19 182 56 N/A GHTB 11/25/19 182 133 N/A

Maturity Date 9/2/2019 9/9/2019 11/25/2019



14.00% 14.25% 14.25%

98.2244 97.9298 95.1217



16.75% 17.75%

94.5608 92.3864



17.85% 18.60% 18.85%

98.0223 99.1902 102.6212



18.80% 19.30%

100.5486 100.7061

Cocoa Bills Security Tenor Days to Coupon Maturity Description Maturity rates Date GCOCOA 11/19/19 182 127 N/A 11/19/2019 GCOCOA 01/02/20 182 171 N/A 1/2/2020 Government of Ghana Bonds Security Tenor Days to Coupon Description Maturity rates GHGB 16.5 03/22/21 3yr 616 16.50% GHGB 18 1/4 07/25/22 5yr 1106 18.25% GHGB 19 3/4 03/25/24 7yr 1715 19.75%

Maturity Date 3/22/2021 7/25/2022 3/25/2024

Corporate Bonds Security Tenor Days to Coupon Maturity Description Maturity rates Date ESLAGH 19 10/23/24 7yr 1927 19.00% 10/23/2024 ESLAGH 19.50 10/27/27 10yr 3026 19.50% 10/27/2027

Risk averse investors choose treasuries Treasury securities continue to attract growing interest from our retail investors and generally in the fixed income market, supporting traditional demand from banks and other institutional investors. Market yields increased across the treasury curve in the first half of the year, with the one-year note and the five- and 10-year bonds seeing the sharpest increases. Activity in the secondary market has been vibrant with investor appetite particularly strong in the mid-tolong tenors (the 3-10 year maturities) since they tend to have higher yields compared to the short-term securities. The three, five and seven-year treasury bonds were yielding 17.85 per cent, 18.60 per cent, and 18.85 per cent annually, respectively, at the end of June. Short-term yields were offered at 14.00 percent for 91-day treasury bills and 17.75 percent for 182-day cocoa bills. Corporate bonds tend to yield more than the so-termed risk-free debt instruments issued by the Government and Bank of Ghana. Investors were quoted yields of 18.80 per cent and 19.30 per cent for the seven and 10-year ESLA Bonds, respectively, at the end of June.

GH¢ Exchange Rates Currency Avg Open Avg Close U.S Dollar 4.82 5.26 Pound Sterling 6.17 6.68 Canadian Dollar 3.54 4.02 Japanese Yen 0.04 0.05 S/African Rand 0.33 0.37 Euro 5.51 5.98 Chinese Reminbi 0.70 0.77 Naira 63.77 58.23

Change -8.35% -7.60% -12.00% -10.15% -9.94% -7.86% -8.38% -8.68%

Source: Bank of Ghana, SAS Research

Primary issuances in the treasury market for the first half of 2019 were generally well bid by investors, with the Government raising a total of GH¢ 23. 2 billion across different maturities. The Government plans to raise GH¢ 10.35 billion in the third quarter, mainly to refinance maturities. The Cedi was weaker against the major trading currencies as at mid-year. Headline inflation for the economy trended upwards in the early part of the year, reaching 9.50 per cent in April, but general price increases moderated thereafter. The reading was 9.10 per cent in June.

Find out more

Strategic African Securities Limited, 14th Floor, World Trade Centre, Independence Avenue, Accra Tel: +233 302 661 990 / 770 / 900 / 008 Email:, FLYafrica 27

STAYafrica Protea Hotel recognises it’s Takoradi’s time The Protea Hotel Takoradi Select is international hospitality giant Marriott International’s first establishment in Ghana and recognises the rising influence of the Western Region’s coastal city and its appeal to leisure and business travellers.



n the four-star Protea Hotel by Marriott Takoradi Select, the largest city in Ghana’s Western Region, which is becoming one of West Africa’s premier tourist destinations and a growing commercial centre, has the luxury accommodation it deserves. Takoradi – or Taadi, as it is known – has miles of white beaches and the city’s oil boom is luring new business. The Protea, part of hospitality company Marriott International and opened in 2016, offers an oasis of comfort and hospitality and piles on the services and facilities to enamour both the tourist and business traveller.

from Takoradi Airport, the city


extending to the decking of its

Takoradi is one of Ghana’s fastgrowing cities and the Protea is positioned to be within easy reach of all its key locations; yet it has secured a quiet spot along the city’s Beach Road, so guests are blissfully unaware of the neighbouring tumult. It’s 10 km

sweet little bridge spans a flume

commercial centre and harbour area are just over 2 km away and travelling half that distance will get you to the white sands and crashing Atlantic waves of Africa Beach and Busua Beach. Here you can go yachting or sailing and even enjoy a game of tennis. Other nearby sporting options include the Takoradi Sports Club, with its nine-hole golf course, just over 1 km from the hotel.

Style and character The three-storey building has the look of a Mediterranean villa with the nougat hues of its façade lovely rear poolside area. Here, a of water from the children’s pool that arcs around the hotel bar’s terrace area. Inside, high ceilings and marble floors bring cool relief from the outdoor heat and the open-

CLASSY The Protea Hotel Takoradi Select’s lobby

plan public areas are elegantly demarcated with ornate wooden panels and heavy framed glass screens. Serious, solid craftsmanship and delicate decoration combine with heavy wooden furniture and leather armchairs offset by the occasional placement of Africathemed watercolours on the wall. It’s classy.

Rooms The classy decor continues in the Protea’s 128 rooms and four suites. The double rooms come with a king-sized bed or twin singles and each has an en-suite bathroom, tea and coffee facilities and satellite TV. All these rooms are spacious, but if you want more room and independence, opt for the suites. Here, you’ll get a living area that includes a mini-kitchen, dining table and work desk as well as sumptuous sleeping quarters. The Executive Suite features a rather lovely en-suite with a roll-top bath, separated from the bedroom by floor-to-ceiling

well-kept gardens at the side

most demanding of leisure and business guests. Those who like to tone and pamper their bodies can take advantage of the in-house spa, gym, swimming pool and beauty salon, while the more cerebral will appreciate the glut of leather sofas on which to curl up and read the daily selection of free newspapers.

of the property. All rooms have access to free Wi-Fi.

Food and drink The hotel has its own restaurant, Euphoria, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and specialises in international cuisine. Breakfast is not included in the cost of staying at the hotel. The morning meal, served buffetstyle, is priced at US$ 14 per person. There’s also a bar with the option to enjoy your drink on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the pool. A charming way to end the day.

SUMPTUOUS The Executive Suite

Business guests can choose from three events rooms – the biggest of which can accommodate 140 people – and staff are on hand to help with planning and hosting. There’s also a conference room for up to 65 delegates, kitted out with all the latest technology for memorable presentations.

Services and facilities

frosted glass. The Garden Suite,

Here’s where the Protea really

as you might expect, offers

excels itself with a bouquet

access and views of the hotel’s

of services to satisfy even the

Doubles start at US$ 131. To book or for more information, visit FLYafrica 29

Poetry by Rhyme Sonny

Words in flight I am the G. O. A.T

form a laser beam

Domesticated furry magnificent creature

Simply put, you can gather all the thoughts and take it to bed

Strong-mindedness, single of purpose and leadership is my

for a later dream


But when you dream allow your thoughts to implement the

So curious about the future


So I keep working on my foraging skills and getting ready to

Don’t scheme..

cash in the bills

Scheming schemes with negative themes have caused

I’ve got ways and wills, tricks and thrills,

extreme fall of many regimes

I’m living a life that kills and at the same time fulfils

And applying bleaching creams in the name of curbing the

Through the thick and thin, the valleys and the hills

problem of low self-esteem is as lame as it seems

If you see me taking the pills

Live your dream and not that of the Kanye and Kim’s

Not that I’m sick but medicating myself against societal ills

The hustler’s life is a free verse poem no form,

They say man is the maker of history And conquering one’s self is the real definition of victory  We are the game changers, world builders, citizens of mastery

But contains different rhyme schemes So If you cannot do the AABB, pursue the ABBA If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way 

dreamchasers, pacesetters, writers of history, 

Life is very short like a haiku

We are just like the Alexander the great, Ramses, Pythagoras,

Eno nti Kwaku

Archimedes, Aristotle, Wesley, Cleopatra and Kepler, known

Ma si me bo sé mɛyɛ biribi papabi ansa na ma wu

for his works on planetary.   

Me ho yɛ hu, nso okuku mensɛ ɔku

Harvey, Boyle, Newton, Edison, Ford, Dalton, Einstein, Marie,

Okremeku Oketeku, metiri ho kuku na me si tutu na menan


npo bubu a, mɛ Koso ako ama y’abɔ medin tisɛ asanteman ne

Your works, ideas, inventions and theories are the foundation

Osei Tutu

of our society Pele, Achebe, Lumumba, Biko, Kofi Annan, Haille Selasie, Diop,

You can be the G. O. A. T

Malcolm, Nyerere, Balewa, Mugabe, Sankara, Fela

Exhibit full expression of your creativity, originality, and moral

you gave meaning to the word “legendary”


What you can do is to sacrifice your day today so others can have a better night tomorrow Follow that dream and became the Dream’s shadow  Either you follow your shadow or your shadow will follow you depending on the position of the sunbeam 


Care for children and women and people with disabilities set priorities, participate in the communities and be involve in charity  Balance fun and relaxation with work and productivity  Be confident and maintain a great sense of humility 

Edgar once said that “All that we see or seem Is like a dream

Be true, be you, be great

wrapped in a dream”

Be the GOAT,

You are the only one who can stimulate the light you emits to

Be the Greatest Of All Times

Image: GeeQ Photos


edwei Kwaku Sonny adopts the stage name Rhyme Sonny as a spoken word artist whose powerful poems dextrously flit from English to Twi and tackle subjects such as religion, politics, love and social issues. The Nkroful-born poet has graced high profile events in Ghana, including performing for former President John Kufour at his 80th birthday celebrations, and in the UK. He is a champion of contemporary poetry in Ghana, co-founding collectives People of Equal Thoughts and Spirits (P.O.E.T.S) and the Poetry Exchange. Many of his best known poems were put to music in the recent studio album GOAT (Greatest of All Time). Below is an excerpt from the title track. In describing the poem, Rhyme Sonny said: “GOAT is a motivational poem that inspires one for greatness and it is inspired by great people around the world in the field of invention, politics, sports, activism and technology throughout the ages.”


The yoyo tinz festival – which celebrates hip-hop culture in Africa and is the first event of its kind in Ghana – returns in October. FLYafrica finds out more about the festival’s five days of rapping, breakdancing, beatboxing, graffiti and DJing.


edia platform yoyo tinz gets

the yoyo tinz festival, Ghana’s first

obsessed creatives who give their

its name from Ghanaian

hip-hop festival.

services for free – know how to put

slang for hip-hop –the

The five-day event launched last

on a party should be no surprise to

‘yo, yo’ refrain punctuates many a

November was a huge success with

anyone who has visited the show-

rapper’s flow – and has been docu-

more than 1,000 people descending

stopping ‘yoyo tinz shrine’ stage at

menting and promoting the rich and

on the La Raceway – the Tema venue

Chale Wote, which has proved one of

diverse but often misunderstood

was given such a transformative

the most lively and crowded places

music genre in Africa since 2013.

makeover for the festival it is now an

to be at the Accra annual street

in-demand location for video and


The non-profit organisation took its showcasing role – which includes

photo shoots – with activities includ-

in-depth articles and online video

ing film screenings, graffiti work-

Second year

documentaries on up-and-coming

shops, DJ sets, open mic sessions,

This year’s festival looks set to build

and established hip-hop talent as

rap battles, exhibitions and live music

on the success of the launch event

well as free-to-download mixtapes


and promises a bigger audience,

of artists on its radar – to another level last year when it launched

That the yoyo tinz team – made up of young (all under 35) hip-hop

more international artists and more activities. It runs from Wednesday, FLYafrica


9 October to Sunday, 13 October

at Terra Alta with a photography

with events taking place across two

exhibition called ‘Dance’, which

Accra sites, Terra Alta and Alliance

highlights the role of breakdanc-


ing within hip-hop culture. The next


of hip-hop culture via its other elements of rap, graffiti, beatboxing, and DJing.

day there will be a screening of the

Local talent

Alta, which has as its executive

French film ‘Les Indes Galantes’

The yoyo tings team – led by founder

director dancer and performance

starring Senegalese street dancer

and photographer Selorm Jay and

artist Elisabeth Sutherland, lends

Dexter. Over the weekend there will

co-director Essenam, also known

itself to the focus of this year’s

be dance demonstrations and a kids’

as ‘Madam yoyo tinz’, from its Accra

event, which will aim to shed more

breakdance battle.

headquarters – see the festival as

The outdoor events area of Terra

light on the art of breakdancing within hip-hop culture. To this end, the festival will begin

While breakdance will be at the

continuing the work of its online

fore, the festival will, like last year,

platforms in introducing to a wider

showcase and spread awareness

audience talented artists who were

yoyo tinz festival programme 2019


Wednesday, 9 October Venue: Terra Alta Time: 6 pm

Thursday, 10 October Venue: Terra Alta Time: 6 pm

Friday, 11 October Venue: Alliance Française Accra

‘Dance’ photography exhibition highlighting a key element of hip-hop culture: breakdancing. Exhibition curated by Essé Dabla-Attikpo featuring Siaka Traore (Burkina Faso), Selorm Jay (Ghana) and Ofoe Amegavie (Ghana)

Urban short films screening plus discussion and video conference with the directors. ‘Les Indes Galantes’ (YouTube) (France). Dexter dance movie on Liberia (Senegal). More to be announced

Time: 3 pm to 5 pm Workshop – Tax filing in the creative sector with GRA Time: 6.30 pm Featured film screening – ‘Coz ov Moni’ Marathon (1/2/3) – TBC

Last year’s festival helped bring attention to Akan, Worlasi, Abena Rockstar and Yung Pabi, DJ VimTinz and graffiti artists Kali, Ekow and Deff Art

CREATIVES The yoyo tinz team

Unfortunately, like last year, the 2019 festival has so far been unable to secure financial support. The first yoyo tinz festival was made possible thanks to the free participation of artists and money raised predominantly by crowdfunding, but also through sales of merchandise and personal funds.

Funding If you would like to contribute to the funding of this year’s event – all previously not well represented on

hip-hop culture and how it provides

the Ghanaian entertainment scene.

avenues for creativity and self-

Last year’s festival helped bring

expression. There will be a number

attention to artists such as Akan,

of panel discussions and workshops

Worlasi, Abena Rockstar and Yung

exploring these areas.

Pabi as well as promoting scratch

donations, no matter how small, are welcome – visit festival.yoyotinz. RISING STAR Abena Rockstar

com for more details. Keep an eye on the yoyo tinz Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for the latest

The team also believes it is

announcements on the artists set

DJs such as DJ VimTinz and the graf-

important for kids to be in contact

to appear at this year’s festival and

fiti artists Kali, Ekow and Deff Art.

with arts and culture from a young

any last-minute changes to the

age and so have made the yoyo tinz


As well as showcasing and legitimising hip-hop artists from Africa

festival family friendly. It offers a safe

and the diaspora, the festival reveals

space with activities such as video

Timings and events are liable to

the educational potential of the

games, skateboarding and basketball

change – check on

often misinterpreted and maligned

to appeal to younger visitors.

closer to the event

Saturday, 12 October Venue: Terra Alta Time: From 11 am

Sunday, 13 October Venue: Terra Alta Time: From 11 am

All day long: Video games, skateboarding, basketball 11 am to 1 pm: DJ set 1 pm to 3 pm: Dance demonstration with instructor 3 pm to 5 pm: Kids breakdance battle and beatmaking competition 5 pm to 7 pm: Open mic session 7 pm to 8 pm: DJ set 8 pm: Concert

All day long: Video games, skateboarding, basketball, 11 am to 1 pm: DJ set 1 pm to 3 pm: Dance demonstration with instructor 3 pm to 5 pm: Kids breakdance battle and beatmaking competition 5 pm to 7 pm: Open mic session 7 pm to 8 pm: DJ set 8 pm: Concert FLYafrica 33

TECHcorner Gadgets to sort out your sleep Blockbuster movie star and bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger recently almost broke the internet with a motivational speech that encouraged us all to ‘sleep faster’ and spend six hours in bed rather than the traditional eight hours so we have more time awake to dedicate to living our best lives. Such a plan is dependent on realising the full potential of your nightly sleep and dropping off into deep, unbroken rest so you wake up refreshed. Harnessing the power of sleep is big business right now and there are plenty of gadgets that recognise your body is also a machine and needs fine-tuning to perform at its best. Our bodies may not have the regenerative capability of Arnie’s cyborg from the future in the ‘Terminator’ franchise, but these gadgets should help them sink into sleep faster and be ready to attack the next day.

Sleep soundly, not noisily… Smart Nora Having a partner who keeps you awake at night isn’t always evidence that the flames of passion are still alive in the relationship. If you’re sleeping every night with a snorer, chances are neither of you are sleeping very well. There are many products out there that promise to help, but Smart Nora is one of the most tech-savvy and there are no invasive mouth guards, nose strips or straps. The system includes a wireless mic, which sits on the snorer’s nightstand, an air pump, and an inflatable device that goes under the pillow. When you start snoring, Nora gently moves your head so you stop before your partner wakes up. The slight movement in your head stimulates your neck and throat muscles and opens the airway so you can breathe again. Price: US$ 329 34

The best bed… Eight Sleep Pod Eight Sleep is at the vanguard of smart mattresses and its latest creation, the Pod, developed in cooperation with leading sleep scientists, is full of neat tricks to help you sleep better. These include personalised temperature regulation on each side of the bed. The Pod will learn the perfect temperature for your sleep and will warm or cool according to your needs. It also tracks your sleep seamlessly, giving you a report each morning on your smartphone of your deep, light and REM sleep. Eight Sleep’s website is full of the advocacy of sports stars powered by the revivifying rest of the Pod. Eight Sleep offers a 100-night trial, so if you’re not powering through your workout or your work day after a series of sleeps on the Pod, you can get a full refund. Price: US$ 2,135

Light sleeper… Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up Light

Dream product… DreamOn Band Slip this watch-like device on your wrist before bedtime and it emits a low-frequency signal conducive to deep sleep through

Soothe screen-strained eyes… Umay Rest On average we spend more than 10 hours and 39 minutes every day in front of a digital device. Much of this is work-related and inescapable, but the resulting eye strain and sleep problems can be fixed. The Umay Rest is a gadget that is placed over the eyes for seven minutes – the device vibrates when time’s up – and uses a type of patented thermal technology to relax the eyes, clear the mind and promote restful sleep. Itchy, puffy eyes on waking should be confined to the past and you are recharged to deal with the digital demands of your day. Price: US$ TBC

gentle pulses on your skin. Your brain then starts to replicate this signal, sending you quickly into a healthy, deep sleep. This easy-to-use piece of kit has been developed by psychiatrists and is a natural, non-pharmaceutical way to get a better night’s rest. The company promises no morning grogginess, no side effects and no dependency. Price: US$ 179

Often referred to as the ‘body clock’, the circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise and eat. It’s affected by environmental cues such as sunlight and temperature and has a strong bearing on our energy levels at different times of the day. However, lighting up our evenings watching TV, being glued to a tablet or phone screen deep into the night or having black-out curtains that shroud our bedrooms in darkness long after morning disrupts these rhythms, leading to difficulty sleeping and sluggish mornings. The Philips Somneo lets you resynchronise your body to the rising and setting of the sun in your own bedroom. It will prepare your body for sleep by simulating the sunset at night and in the morning it will fill your room with bright light, helping you rise naturally. It also comes with a PowerSnooze function, designed to stop continuous snoozing, and you can link to your phone’s music library to give you a rousing soundtrack to the start of a new day. Price: US$ 169 FLYafrica 35


team of schoolgirls from Ghana has won the senior division of the Robofest World Championship in the United States. In taking the title, the nine-strong collective – made up of pupils from the Methodist Girls’ High School in Mamfe in the Eastern Region – beat student teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Egypt, India, Macau, South Africa and Ecuador. The girls, who had to get through national qualifying stages to reach the championships, called themselves Team Acrobot for the competition and proved dominant throughout the 10 challenges of the championship, held in May at the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Michigan.

Talented team The talented pupils – whose school has the motto ‘honesty, integrity and industry’ – were able to build a robot that arranged boxes according to a binary number they were given during the competition. They also completed their other assigned robot missions successfully. These included: getting their robot to solve problems using cameras; a ‘BottleSumo’ event involving using their robot to push a bottle or a robot opponent off a table; and even a robotics music and dance competition. Ghana was well represented in the competition. Along with the victorious Team Acrobot, there was team I-BOT, 36

placed 15th, and a team of five boys from the Mikrobot Academy, who came sixth out of the 52 teams in the junior division and went by the name of Cosmic Intellect.

Foundation backing The 21 students who made up the impressive Ghanaian contingent at the championships were accompanied by Dr Yaw Okraku-Yirenkyi, a member of the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation (GRAF). Ghana’s prominence in the competition owes much to the dedication of the foundation in motivating and inspiring the interest and participation of the next generation of Ghanaians in science and technology. The foundation was set up in 2011 by Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, a robotics engineer at NASA, who is at the forefront of the federal agency’s Mars Rover and InSight projects as well as being the technical leader for the mobility and manipulation group at its

Such a worldbeating performance has been coming from Ghana with a raft of impressive placings at international robotics tournaments

Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The academy began introducing senior high school students in Ghana schools to robotics and programming through the Robotics inspired Science Education (RiSE) initiative. The belief is that the sci-fi futuristic appeal of robotics will engage students and unlock creativity, innovation and passion for science and technology among young Ghanaians. While learning to design, construct and program robots, students will be developing science, engineering and technology skills and building leadership skills. Many of the students excelling on this programme are girls. Team Acrobot coach Ben Amoakoh says: “The win reveals when girls are given equal opportunities, they can equally do well in science and technology. It also proves that when resources are made available to students they produce good results. As Africans these are areas we should start focusing on.” Team member Sandra Yeboah

images: Ben McDjan Amoakah

A team of Mamfe schoolgirls defeated students from round the world to take the Robofest World Championship crown. FLYafrica celebrates Team Acrobot’s victory and reveals how the pathway to their success was put in place by a Ghanaian foundation promoting science and technology lessons in the nation’s schools.

agrees. She says: “We have helped prove science education is not as difficult as perceived to be and girls can equally involve themselves in science activities and come out successful”

Ghana’s robotic renown The success of Team Acrobot is a fantastic achievement for the pupils and a wonderful advertisement for the work of the Methodist Girls’ High School, RiSE and GRAF. Such a worldbeating performance has been coming from Ghana with a raft of impressive placings at international robotics tournaments in recent years. These have included RiSE teams finishing as semi-finalists in the World Robots Olympiad in 2016 and eighth overall in last year’s Robofest, the first time in the championship’s nearly 20-year history that an African team had made the top 10. Ghana is proving itself a major robotics player on the world stage among a new generation and Team Acrobot is showing the way.

WINNERS Team Acrobot celebrate their Robofest victory

MISSION Students take on one of the Robofest challenges

FLYafrica 37

‘Writing is one of the most wonderful things about my existence’ Award-winning Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma’s second novel, ‘An Orchestra of Minorities’, is steeped in Igbo cosmology, with the fortunes of a lovelorn chicken farmer being related by his chi or guardian spirit. Here the United States-based writer tells us what he misses most about his own country and what the inspirations were for his latest work.

Q. Chinonso, the central character

part of your life growing up?

of your new novel, ‘An Orchestra of

A. I try to make a distinction between

Minorities’, spends much of his time

folklore and cosmology. I think my

in Cyprus homesick for his Nigeria

novel is centred on the cosmology

home. You live in the United States

and philosophies of the Igbo people.

now. What do you miss most about

Folklores, for me, are stories that are


often fictional and often didactic.

of the first books I ever read and

A. Chinonso does spend a signifi-

Cosmology is often a discourse

one that naturally stayed with me

cant part of the novel in the Turkish

on the complexities of a people’s

and shaped me as a writer. I think

republic of Northern Cyprus, an

worldview. More often than not, this

the draw in this kind of book is the

island separated from the recog-

is instantiated in the institutions of

universal archetypes of the traveller

nised country of Cyprus in conditions

the people. Take the belief in free will

wanting to return to the subject of

that are not very hospitable. As for

in the Judeo-Christian tradition for

his interest – herein his wife. But I

me, I live in the US right now mostly

example, it is the axiomatic principle

must confess that ‘An Orchestra of

because my vocation – writing and

on which most things in the West –

Minorities’ is not a retelling of ‘The

teaching Creative Writing – serves

from liberal democracy to the justice


me better here. I don’t know if I

system – are based. The idea of the

could teach in Nigerian schools with

chi was once like that. It gave space

Q. You once wrote about Nigerians’

the strikes and chaos; but, outside

to how the Igbo lived. Most parts of

ability to put up with life’s hard-

of that, I probably will be living in

Igbo land did not have a monarchi-

ships in the belief they will improve

Nigeria. Yes, it’s in a terrible state,

cal system of government because

one day. Do you still believe this

but I love it more than anywhere else.

of the belief in the chi: the assump-

and did that influence the cata-

I visit many times a year and when

tion that if every person embodies

logue of hardships you have

I return to the US I often miss the

divinity then there was no meaningful

Chinonso deal with in the book?

people, the weather, the landscape

reason why they should rule over

A. Yes, absolutely, I think we have a

and the culture.

everyone. So, for me, I wanted to

resilient spirit. Most Nigerians deal

explore this principle of duality, of

with real hardships every day and

Q. ‘An Orchestra of Minorities’ is

a person’s spiritual double, in the

it hardly ever breaks their spirits. I

rich in Igbo folklore, with Chinonso

context of fiction.

think there is something about the

being guided by a chi or guardian


Orchestra’ has parallels with ‘The LATEST RELEASE An Orchestra of Minorities

Odyssey’. What is it that appeals to you about these ancient tales? A. Homer’s seminal work was one

culture that fosters this sense of

spirit. What fascinates you about

Q. I’ve read you were fascinated

resilience, this belief that no matter

these traditions and were they a

by Greek myths as a child and ‘An

how difficult things are, one will

Image: Jason Keith

eventually overcome. In the novel, I wanted to chronicle the life of an unlucky man through the lens of his chi, the spirit who is supposed to guard him and help shape his life. So, it’s the story of a man’s journey from before he is born to the age of about 30. So, there is a lot of suffering, but we see how his guardian spirit tries to continuously lift his spirit. Q. I believe parts of the story were inspired by the death of your friend, Jay. Is the book a sort of tribute to him? A. In a way, yes. It was inspired by his tragic story of being defrauded and then arriving in Cyprus and his fall into despair. Q. Do you have fond memories of your upbringing in Akure? A. Absolutely. My first novel, ‘The Fishermen’, was set in Akure. There is a hand-drawn map of the city by the narrator of the story, nine-year-old Benjamin. And it was the city where I grew up and where my early personality and interests were formed. Oh, dear, I haven’t been there in like five years despite visiting Nigeria every year! Q. Do you enjoy the writing process or is it often painful to get the words out as you want them? A. Writing is one of the most wonderful things about my existence. I don’t know if I can exist without writing. It is art – and art challenges. There is struggle, friction,

I think Nigerians have a resilient spirit. Most deal with hardships every day and it hardly ever breaks their spirits

and sometimes bruises in the mind’s body. But the result of the struggle, if it culminates finally in some victory, is often well worth the effort. Q. Has Nigerian literature inspired your writing and are there any books you recommend we look out for? A. I grew up reading some gems of Nigerian literature and the ones I recommend are as follows: ‘The Palm-Wine Drinkard’ by Amos Tutuola, ‘Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale’ by D.O Fagunwa, ‘The Famished Road’ by Ben Okri, ‘Sugar Girl’ by Kola Onadipe and ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe. FLYafrica 39


‘The best-looking new Ford for many a year’ Ford has ditched the dreary with its sporty Puma. Gary Gimson gets the message – or should that be massage?


Massaging seats – whatever next? Felt the need to be massaged while driving? Me neither. But Ford is setting something of a trend in this class by offering lumbar massaging front seats as standard on its higher-spec Titanium models. Activated at the push of a button, the three-way adjustable massage settings are said to revitalise tired muscles and are ideal for longer journeys. Maybe it’s an extra that drivers felt they never needed, but will eventually become obligatory. Time will tell.


t’s not often in recent times that

the best-selling Fiesta and the Puma

electric sunroofs long ago went out

I have had anything complimen-

is none the worse for it.

of fashion with the coming of air

tary to say about Ford’s range

But there are clever touches

conditioning. This lets natural light

of new cars or their underwhelm-

here and there. For example,

flood into the car to create a light

ing styling. And then, out of the

some models come with lumbar

and airy interior. The front half of the

blue, Ford actually comes up with

massaging seats – something previ-

roof is power-operated and can tilt

a subcompact crossover SUV that

ously found only in more expensive

or slide right back; and a full-length,

catches the eye.

Mercedes and Jaguar cars – and

retractable sunshade allows drivers

there’s the unique absence of that

to open the glass while staying

Fiesta and the odd-looking and to

often cumbersome rear parcel shelf.

protected from the sun.

be avoided at all costs Ecosport, the

(Who can stack parcels on these

Romania-built Puma (a retro Ford

flimsy boards, anyway? No parcel


name from the 1990s) offers some-

shelf allows for the vertical stacking

The Puma will sit on 18-inch rims,

thing innovative in this increasingly

of items that are normally carried

although ST-Line versions will come

crowded B-segment market.

horizontally – sets of golf clubs

with 19-inch matte black alloys and

come to mind).

sports suspension.

Based on a chassis used for the

Flourishes From the front end, the Puma has design flourishes that are reminiscent

Then there’s a hands-free tailgate and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot. As with many other major car

Going on sale in Europe in late Q4, it’s still unclear whether the car will even be shipped to West Africa.

of the excellent Kia Sportage, with

makers right now, Ford launched the

Let’s hope it is. The Puma is a more

headlights perched high on the front

Puma with a choice of hybrid engines

than commendable effort from a

wings. At the rear, there’s only a small

(125 or 155 hp) to go with a more

car maker which too often in the

windscreen and more examples of

traditional petrol and diesel line-up –

recent past has opted for dreary

Ford’s aggressive styling.

the latter getting a seven-speed dual

over excitement. The Puma changes

clutch automatic gearbox.

this, however, and for my money is

Inside, Ford maintains its innate conservatism and it’s at best func-

Similarly, full-length panoramic

certainly worth considering. It is,

tional and at worst uninspiring. In

roofs, which replace the steel panel,

quite simply, the best-looking new

fact, the interior is almost identical to

are all the rage after pop-up and

Ford for many a year.



Foundation flies the flag humanitarian mission This year the Hainan-AWA Foundation has targeted education in Ghana for donations, bringing one school its first computers and taking other pupils on the flight of a lifetime.


ince Africa World Airlines began in 2012 it has embedded social impact

into its company ethos. The airline set up its benevolent wing, the Hainan-AWA Foundation, to provide humanitarian aid and services for the less privileged in society, regardless of geographical, political or religious boundaries, and to help them maintain and improve their livelihood. The foundation’s activities are

This year the plan is to support educational institutions across the airline’s network of destinations in

primarily sponsored by AWA.

Ghana. Next year, we will focus on

However, we also solicit donations

West Africa’s subregion.

onboard our flights from passengers who donate without hesitation

Desktops donation

to support a worthy cause.

The recent donation of 10 desktop

Focus on children

computers to Akyeremade D/A Junior High School in the Atwima

The focus has been predominantly

District of the Ashanti Region is

on children as they represent the

part of this plan. The secondary

future. In the past seven years the

school’s pressing need for comput-

foundation has donated to worth-

ers was identified when the foun-

while projects such as the Frafraha

dation visited schools in the region

Children’s Home in Accra; Osu

in February.

Children’s Home; the University

The world is growing rapidly,

of Ghana’s sports department;

with technology the key driver,

the surgical ward of 37 Military

so we deemed it appropriate to

Hospital; the Asogli State in

support in this area. We believe the

support of its educational fund;

10 desktop computers donated will

the Centre of Hope Orphanage

be used efficiently to deliver the

in Abossey Okai; and the diabetic

needed knowledge for the devel-

ward of Tamale Teaching Hospital.

opment of the children.

The focus has been predominantly on children as they represent the future. In the past seven years the foundation has donated to many worthwhile projects… 42



What are the objectives of the foundation and how is it funded?

A. The Hainan-AWA Foundation aims at


What are the foundation’s plans after this donation?

A. We are also supporting another school

providing humanitarian aid and services for

in the Ashanti Region, the Bonwire Senior

the less privileged in society, regardless of

High School, by taking five brilliant students

geographical, political or religious bounda-

on an educational tour onboard our

ries, and to help them maintain and improve

aircraft in which they will be given a talk

their livelihood. The foundation is funded by

on air travel and the career opportuni-

both the airline and its customers. Donations

ties that exist in the aviation industry. The

are collected onboard our flights once every

students were flown from Kumasi to Accra.


The same project will be replicated in the


domestic regions where we operate flights Why are you focusing on the Ashanti

in the coming months.

Region now?

A. This is in line with the foundation’s annual plan to support education in Ghana, especially at the destinations we operate flights to. After Ashanti Region, we would move to Western Region, followed by Northern Region and finally Greater Accra.


What is your motive behind the donation of desktops computers to

the school? A. During our visit and assessments of the schools in February, we observed the challenges faced with ICT lessons delivery at

EDUCATIONAL TOUR Students from Bonwire Senior High School

Akyeremade JHS as they did not have a single computer to aid in the teaching. We thought it wise to assist in this area.

FLYafrica 43





Singing star showcases West African artists in her soundtrack album to The Lion King.



Freetown Sierra Leone


Tamale Côte Ghana d’lvoire Monrovia Kumasi Liberia


Abuja Lagos


Explore West Africa with Africa World Airlines GHANA






Kotoka International Airport

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Roberts International Airport

Capital city of Ghana with an estimated population of 2.27 million. Economic and administrative hub for Greater Accra region and home to Ghana’s government administration.


Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport

Located in Ashanti Region and one of Ghana’s biggest metropolitan areas with a population of 2.07 million.

Capital of Nigeria and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Administrative and political centre of Nigeria.



Capital of Ghana’s Northern Region and hub for administrative and commercial activities.

Takoradi Takoradi Airport Port town combined with Sekondi to form Sekondi-Takoradi, capital of the Western Region.

Capital and most populous city of Liberia with more than 1 million inhabitants.




Kumasi International Airport

Tamale Airport

Nigeria’s largest city and the most populous in Africa. Major financial centre and home to one of Africa’s biggest ports.

Lungi International Airport Capital of Sierra Leone and the country’s economic, financial, cultural and political centre.

Abidjan Aéroport Félix Houphouët Boigny The economic capital of Cote D’Ivoire is the second largest city in West Africa after Lagos. Its skyscrapers tower between lagoons and waterways, overlooking the Atlantic.

Book online FLYafrica 45

TRAVELinformation Before your flight



3 .



Allow enough time to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight departure time and no later than 40 minutes before departure.

Unaccompanied minors Children aged five to 12 must travel as an unaccompanied minor (UM) on AWA. Only children mature enough to

If you are a special needs passenger, arrive at the airport in ample time to allow the airport staff to process documents.

travel with limited supervision

Make sure you have the correct identification for check-in, such as a voter’s ID card, National Health Insurance card, driver’s licence or any form of government identification before you travel on AWA’s domestic routes and a valid passport on regional routes. A visa is required for non-ECOWAS passport holders. Without a valid physical government-issued ID you will not be checked in.

receiving a UM at final

are allowed to travel as a UM. Details of parent/guardian destination must be provided by a parent/guardian during reservation. Proof of age such as a valid passport, birth certificate or National Health Insurance card must be presented at check-in.

Check that your bags are within the correct weight and size limits for your product class (see table below).

AWA ground staff will assist the UM with check-in, transfers and boarding.

Check your seat assignment, which will be given to you at the airport.

Once on board, a flight attendant with observe and/

During your flight





Enjoy complimentary hot beverages, served on some routes, as well as fresh fruit juice and snacks including croissants, biscuits and fish/meat pies.

UMs are only allowed to travel on non-stop or same-

The parent/guardian receiv-

Pay close attention to the safety procedures outlined by the cabin crew and take note of your nearest exit.

plane services.

ing the UM should arrive at the gate 30 minutes prior to

AWA does not accept

scheduled arrival and present

responsibility for a UM’s

valid photo ID to an AWA

actions. The parent/guardian

representative. AWA will not

agrees to hold AWA blame-

release a UM to anyone other

less for any injuries to UM

than the designated parent/

caused by or out of UM’s own



Sit back, relax and enjoy FLYafrica magazine! AWA reserves the right to

Baggage allowances


or communicate with the UM

Checked baggage

Hand luggage

Excess baggage

Should the UM’s flight be

transport UMs on flights that

disrupted or should the guard-

may have been diverted or

ian or parent fail to meet the

cancelled due to weather or

UM on arrival, AWA is author-

operational disruptions.

ized to take necessary and

Domestic Regional 23 kg

30 kg

One piece up to 5 kg and 1 handbag/laptop bag GHS 5/kg

US$ 3/kg

book stating the duration of

to AWA representatives of the

pregnancy at the date of travel.

person’s condition upon ticket purchase.

A new mother is permitted to fly 48 hours after a normal

Pre-boarding to find a suit-

delivery, provided that she has

able seat. Passengers with

a certificate from her obstetri-

disabilities are not permitted to

cian stating she is fit to fly.

sit in the emergency exit rows.

Babies under 14 days old are not permitted to fly.

Receipt of checked-in wheelchair or other assistance device upon disembarking or

Passengers with reduced mobility

at baggage claim. AWA is not insured, permitted

AWA provides assistance to

or equipped for staff to carry

passengers with special needs

any passenger who is unable to

during the reservation process,

assist himself or herself onboard

check-in, during the flight

an AWA aircraft, even if he or

and at final destination. AWA

she is able to walk but needs a

will ensure provision of the

trained and accredited bearer.

following: AWA is not equipped to Transport of passengers

reasonable action under the

agrees to reimburse AWA for

Pregnant women Expectant mothers are permitted to fly until the 28th medical certificate. From the 28th to the

seated on the lap of an adult

34th week of pregnancy, an

over 15 years of age. However,

expectant mother is required

a passenger may choose to

to provide a medical certifi-

purchase a seat for the infant

cate from her obstetrician

as long as there is a proper

stating that the pregnancy is

child restraint device.

progressing without complications and stating the expected

Only one child is permitted

delivery date.

to sit on an adult’s lap. An additional seat must be purchased

or contained gas either in the

safety-related regulation that

passenger cabin or as cargo/

requires us not to do so.

baggage. AWA is not equipped to

chairs or other assistance

transport passengers who

devices for personal use at

require stretchers, incubators,

no charge, in addition to

respirators or other devices

enplaning and deplaning.

that may rely on aircraft power

Attention should be brought


week of pregnancy without a

AWA requires all children under two years old to be

other hazardous materials and/

unless there is a specific

Transport of wheel-

any expenses incurred.

Infants and toddlers

with disabilities of any kind

and more comfortable flight.

circumstances. In the case of the latter, the parent/guardian

transport medical oxygen or

Expectant mothers more

if one adult is travelling with

than 34 weeks pregnant are

two infants.

not permitted to fly with AWA.

AWA recommends that

For pregnancies less than

a child over 20 kg in weight

28 weeks, passengers should

should use a seat for a safer

possess an ante-natal card/

Fleet information Embraer ERJ-145LR Length:

29.87 m / 98 ft 0 in


6.76 m / 22 ft 2 in


20.04 m / 65 ft 9 in

Capacity: Engines:

50 passengers Rolls Royce AE 3007-A1 Turbofans

Range: Maximum speed:

2,870 km Mach 0.78

Number of aircraft: 8 FLYafrica 47


Get in touch Local Offices Accra – Head Office SSNIT Emporium Ground Floor, Airport City Liberation Road PMB CT67 Cantonment Accra, Ghana SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook flyafricaworld



Tel: +233 24 243 8888 Toll Free: 0800 200 200 Email: Opening hours: 07.00-19.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.00-14.00 (Sat)


Tel: +233 30 297 4918

Takoradi Instagram


Tel: +233 57 770 2854


Tel: +233 30 297 4919

Email Contacts


Regional Offices Lagos

Monrovia Airport Office Roberts International Airport, Lower Margibi County, Monrovia, Liberia

Airport Ticketing Office Room 2030, 2nd Floor (Airline Floor), D Wing Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja, Lagos

Tel: +231 886 691 623 +231 881 108 682 +231 881 108 666

Tel: +234 1 342 7130/2

Town Office 1st Floor, Kabah Building Benson/Mechlin Street Monrovia, Liberia


Abuja Airport Ticketing Office Public Concourse, Terminal C Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja Tel: +234 8171 481 189 +234 8171 481 480

Opening hours: 08.00-17.00 (Mon-Fri)

Tel: +231 775 450 010 +231 776 578 812 Email: Opening hours: 08.00-17.00 (Mon-Fri), 08.00-14.00 (Sat)



Airport Office Lungi International Airport

Opening hours: 08.00-16.00 (Mon-Sat)

Tel: +232 79 630 103


Town Office 5 Usuma Close, off Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja

Town Office 21/23 Siaka Stevens Street Tel: +232 79 630 103; +232 88 852 773


Opening hours: 08.00-17.00 (Mon-Sat)

Opening hours: 08.30-17.30 (Mon-Fri)

Book online

Profile for Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

FLYafrica Magazine, Issue 5