We have found a set of skills and employment in Ghana that are unique to the environment and economy here. While education and "professional" positions are becoming more common, most people still depend on a trade skill learned through an apprenticeship and a strong work ethic to put bread on the table (fufu in the bowl). We often see the proverb: "No food for the lazy man." Another constraint is lack of capital, so businesses with minimal up front costs are common.
Hauling---moving stuff around
Hauling is a common occupation.
Whether on your head like this 40
pound propane bottle, or...
...on a four wheel 'truck,' getting
stuff around is a good business
with not much overhead--but the load.
Cement Block Manufacturing
|Termites and humidity make wood structures impratical in Ghana. The primary blocking material is cement blocks. To manufacture blocks you only need good sand, some cement, simple forms and a couple of shovels. The process is shown here. These men do a couple of loads of sand a day. Trucks that deliver sand often haul away product bricks.|
The Tailor Shop
This tailor is named Kwame Nkrumah
after Ghana's first president. He is
showing us his closet sized tailor shop
with his equipment and some finished work.
His sewing machine is electric, but
many are still foot pedal driven.
Note his 'accessory kit' by the machine.
The Fitting Shop
|Auto mechanics are called fitters in Ghana. They work in open air shops and often go to the breakdown to make the repair. We often see mechanics lying under cars on the main streets of Accra. Because there are so many small shops they specialize in make of car and type of repair. For example, we might see a sign advertising a Toyota door specialist. Given the age of the fleet and the quality of the roads, this business seems secure.|
Service jobs are often highly prized.
Mensah, our favorite waiter, has worked
in a Chinese restaurant for over 20 years.
He always gives Sister Markham great service.
This is Silo-fu. He carries his grinder
through the neighborhoods sharpening
machetes, knives and etc. His equipment
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