Reflections on the intersection of the fourth industrial revolution, leadership, politics, and the future of a “rustbelt city”.

Cleveland Skyline

Terminal 7 of the John F Kennedy Airport in New York City was my first glimpse at America. It was nothing like the Kotoka International Airport in Accra and yet it rivalled Heathrow in London. Walking off that British Airways flight into the terminal, I knew I was always going to end up here somehow. …

The parallels between Police Brutality in Nigeria and the United States

The murder and pillage of black bodies are not recent phenomena; they are as old as the invention of the ‘Black race’ itself. Through the combined forces of slavery, colonization, and neo-colonialism, violence in all its forms has been inflicted upon the black body for centuries.

Today, the State continues to be the lead perpetrator of violence against black people. This is as true for Nigeria, as it is for the United States and many other countries.

As I write this, the Nigerian government in the last couple of days has unleashed the full force of the state on young…

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Sometime in August last year, I had dinner at the home of a friend, a former diplomat in the erstwhile Obama administration. The food was great! The conversation…? Interesting. It was me, her [a Black woman] and two of her older White male neighbors — one a retired executive of a large manufacturing company, the other a former Medical professor at a leading US college. Good people, I am sure!

“So, you are from Ghana, I heard” one of the men, quizzed? “Yes, from Ghana, West Africa”, I replied. He went on to ask, “how long have you been in…

“We face neither East nor West; We face forward”

The declaration of the Independence of Ghana on 6th March 1957 by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah represents an important historical event for all Black People not just in Ghana but all over the world. It represented an important milestone in the struggle to wrestle us from the claws of colonialism and usher us into a new era of Black self-determination. This event was powerful both in what it represented in reality and in its symbolism.

Left: Nkrumah at a presser in America. Right: Independence Day, 6th March 1957

But Nkrumah’s declaration was by no means the end! The imperialist forces became even more resolute and…

This article is an extract from a paper co-authored with Salin Geevarghese for the Mixed-Income Strategic Alliance.

Anchor institutions across the United States are rooted in place, with fully one-quarter of them located in inner cities. For those anchors adjacent to high poverty, disinvested neighborhoods, many factors — their civic commitment, mission to advance well-being, enlightened self-interest, the scope of their operations, and other drivers — have led them to become involved in neighborhood improvement efforts and community transformation. These neighborhoods need public and private sector investment; they aspire to quality amenities and services, businesses, parks, and green spaces; and…

The murals emerging on Accra’s streets and in neighborhoods tell a tale of a growing love for art, economic growth, and displacement.

Blooming concrete jungles and the monotony of the urban environment must be disrupted with nature and art. Accra has largely failed at preserving green spaces in the city but it is seeking to compensate with art. Street art is truly evolutionary. Like most art, its mold and utility in society are continuously in flux. Street art as a placemaking strategy in itself is ingenious but in many cases, it is merely a Band-Aid solution to deeper issues.

The growth and transformation of urban commons open up conversations of “right to the city”, the concentration of poverty and affluence, and displacement…

The city is changing very quickly. Old structures are tumbling and modern high rise buildings are taking their place. A friend recently remarked, “today there aren’t many birds in the sky except the towering cranes raising these concrete giants all across the city.” For the boy visiting Accra from the countryside, this is all such a beauty to behold, what he does not recognise is that it all comes at a cost. What is the real social cost of Accra’s burgeoning infrastructural space?

Airport City, Accra- Ghana

Accra is rapidly urbanising at a rate of at least 4.3 percent meanwhile over 50 percent of…

Kwame Botchway

I love cities, policy, and social impact. Passionate about creating impact and social change? Let’s talk.

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