African Influence

The many connections of Ghanaians between each other and outsiders has many influences. The first of which, is media. The way Ghanaians perceive themselves, other Africans, and African Americans reflects how those groups are portrayed in the press.

“Ghana: Soft Control of the Press”

The relationship between the media and the government in Ghana has an interesting and complicated history. According to Jo Ellen Fair in her article “Ghana: Soft Control of the Press,” it all began in 1992 when the media was liberalized.

Since the media’s liberalization, journalism boomed in Ghana. Publications and broadcasts were everywhere and were commenting on everything. Since media was privatized, they could talk about whatever they wanted. The government, on the other hand, was used to controlling the media openly and found their new freedoms distasteful.

Fair describes how the government had to adjust their methods to softly control the media, rather than openly and aggressively controlling them. One of the biggest examples of this is called “soli.”

Soli is a Ghanaian word meaning gifts. Mainly in the form of money, soli is given to journalists by officials or businesspeople to ensure the press covers the material they want them to. In addition to cash, promotions are also handed out as incentive by influential people in the government.

Relations between the media and the government in Ghana are similar to those in the United States and many other countries. It seems like a more extreme case because of the accelerated rate at which the government and media in GhIMG_5180
ana have developed after Africa’s decolonization.

The media are the agenda-setters for what the country will discuss, what it will care about, and what will shape it. The government cares about what is discussed, what is cared about and what shapes the country. Therefore, it makes sense for the government to want a hand in the agenda-setting.


“Pan-Africanism as a resource: the W.E.B. DuBois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture in Ghana”

Pan means all. African, of course, refers to people from the continent of Africa. Pan-Africanism is a movement to unite all Africans, whether they live in Africa or are distant descendants of Africans.

In her writings on “Pan-Africanism as a resource: the W.E.B. DuBois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture in Ghana,” Katharina Schramm analyzes Pan-Africanism as a movement and how W.E.B. DuBois played a major role.

According to Schramm, W.E.B DuBois was an advocate for, and even the father of, Pan-Africanism and played a large part in the establishment of the first four Pan-African conferences. Their purpose was to promote racial equality and unity of the continent of Africa.

Unifying the continent of Africa into a United States of Africa is one aim of Pan-Africanism. Another aim is for all Africans to unite and follow their ancestry back to Africa from where they and their families ended up scattered around the world.

The idea of a Pan-Africanism is admirable and it would be beneficial for people of African decent to learn more about their lineages and histories. However, if all those people of African decent returned to Africa, their presence and culture would be sorely missed in the rest of the world.