From Radio Open Source
We are making the full village rounds here in Aburanza, near Cape Coast, with a strong-minded, strong-willed modern chief. From furniture works to dress-making class to palm-nut oil pots, Dr. Kofi Sam is barking out variations on his evangelical theme: West Africa can provide the essentials for itself (food, clothing, shelter and healthcare) if only it first licks a second AIDS crisis — the Acquired Import Dependency Syndrome.
Kofi Sam, who graduated from high school in the 1950s with Kofi Annan of the UN, is a cheerful misfit in the Ghanaian elite. He is an engineer with English training and now a compelling Ghanaian vision, however eccentric. He ran steel works in Ghana back in the day, and held the Housing ministry in Jerry Rawlings’ military government in the 1980s. But he was all the while getting more focused on “appropriate technology” for tropical Africa — on finding modern designs and materials, that is, for the climate and culture of a hot, poor place. Tight denim blue jeans make an interesting Western fashion statement, as he might say, but what is their place in Africa? And what is all that Scandinavian concrete doing in new Ghanaian housing?