The 2005 Ghana program lasted from May 16 to June 5, 2005. The participating students were Marci Clemens, Byron Johnson, Martin Mayer, Karen Pinizzotto, Denise Robertson, and Megan Stadelman.
Among the topics highlighted in the 2005 program were:
The AngloGold-Ashanti Company is the second largest gold producing company in Africa and contributes significantly to the Ghana economy. The Akron team spent a day at the Obuasi operations of AngloGold-Ashanti. One of the highlights of the visit was the descent into the goldmines. An executive of the company also presented an interesting lecture on the operations of the company and the impact of the company on the surrounding community.
Ghana ranks third in the world in cocoa production (after Brazil and Ivory Coast). The cocoa industry is a major contributor to the economy of Ghana. The Akron team visited the Tetteh Quarshie cocoa firm. This was the first cocoa firm in Ghana and the source of the development of the cocoa industry in Ghana. The operators of the firm explained how the products of the farm eventually become the chocolate that are available in stores in Akron.
The slave-trade era coastal castles at Cape Coast and Elmina provide important historical detail in any discussion of the involuntary movement of Africans to the new world. These two UNESCO World Heritage sites are almost required stops on any visit to Ghana. The Akron team toured both castles.
The Akron team spent several hours with students of the famous Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, one of the nation’s best high schools
Ghana has earned a reputation as one of Africa’s best governed democracies. The Akron team visited the Ghana Parliament and the Supreme Court. One of the highlights of the visit to the Supreme Court was a meeting with Justice Modibo Ocran, a former professor at the University of Akron law school.
Ghana has a long established and exciting cultural heritage. The interposition of this heritage and the development of a “modern” democracy provides interesting challenges and opportunities. Our team visited the La Mantse, the chief of the La people of Accra, as well as traditional chiefs of Ashanti.
"The trip was well planned down to every last detail and the in-country program was extremely informative and educational. I would highly recommend the trip to anyone who is willing, or has the desire to learn about the rich heritage and culture of a country that is very different yet very similar to the United States."
- Martin Mayer