This past week, I had the pleasure of traveling to Accra, Ghana with my home school, Howard University. I am a part of the fourth cohort of the Global Trilateral MBA Program, which connects students at multiple institutions around the world as we engage on consulting projects for real companies. In this case, we worked with Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) in Beijing, China as we provided advice for Chocolate Clothes. Just a little context, Chocolate Clothes is a Ghanaian clothing company owned and operated by Kwaku Bediako.
I left Cape Town on March 9th in the morning, and I arrived in Ghana late at night that same day. The good part about studying abroad in South Africa is that I was way closer to Ghana than my classmates, if you include layovers. The only downfall was that I was unable to work in person with my peers on the projects, and that can become frustrating. Oh, and I also missed a whole week of school, while my peers at Howard were on spring break during the trip. This resulted in me being excused from an exam, and now one of my finals are worth 75% of my grade. Nevertheless, everything worked out!
On Sunday, we went to the Akosombo Hydro Plant, which provides power to Ghana and a few surrounding countries. We went there because another one of our clients is an energy company, and so we thought it would be a great learning experience to visit. Afterwards, we went to the Royal Senchi Resort Hotel for lunch, and the food was amazing! Also, since it was one of my classmate’s birthday, the staff came and sang happy birthday to her. It was really nice—they came out in a line, they had instruments, and it was cool hearing Ghanaians sing their version of “Happy Birthday.”
Monday was the day we went to go visit a few attractions. We visited the Independence Arch, the Kwame Nkrumah National Park (this is where we learned about the first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah), the Black Star Square, and the Arts Center. One of my favorite parts of the entire trip was going to the Arts Center. I’ve always wanted to visit an African market, and I was able to do so that day.
Tuesday was the day we had to put in work. We had a working lunch with a representative from the United States Agency for International Development, an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. Again, this helped us get a better understanding of the work that one of our clients did, so this was another learning experience. This was also the day we met the students from CUFE in person. Afterwards, we went to go visit the CEO of Chocolate Clothes and his workspace, where we were able to ask as many questions as we needed for our project. Overall, Tuesday was a very productive day.
Wednesday was go-time. We went to go visit and tour the University of Ghana as well as its Graduate Business School. After the tour, we gave our presentation to the CEO of Chocolate Clothes as well as one of his colleagues, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a reception after the presentation, and went right back to the hotel to get some well-needed sleep.
On Thursday, we had a bunch of fun. We went to go visit Kakum National Park where we went on a canopy walk above the rainforest tree line. That day, it rained super hard for about 45 minutes, and our agenda was rearranged. After the rain stopped, we went to eat lunch at the Coconut Grove Beach Resort where we had lunch on the beach and I enjoyed a fresh, grilled lobster. We then went to Elmina Castle, where a long, long time ago slaves were held before they were transported and sold away. We were supposed to go visit Cape Coast Castle as well, but the rain cancelled that plan.
Our last full day in Ghana! Those who were able to wake up on time went to go visit Parliament to sit in on a meeting. We were able to meet the Speaker of the House, Aaron Mike Ocquaye. It was only for five minutes, but it was a nice experience meeting him.
I had to start a new paragraph for this experience, because it was definitely the highlight of the week. We went to go visit the CEO’s vacation home, and when I tell you all it was lit (i.e. a very exciting time), it was LIT! The CEO brought in a bar that had custom glasses with Howard’s logo on it. The drinks were bomb, the food was amazing, the DJ played some great music, and a tribe came to have dinner with us! Afterwards, some of us went out to a Ghanaian nightclub, and it was decent!
Saturday, right before we left to the airport, we went back to the market because most of us had to get more stuff, including myself. I got some shea butter, some black soap, two dresses, a top, a ton of jewelry/accessories for my family and friends.
OVERALL, Ghana was an AMAZING trip, and I recommend everyone to go when they have a chance!
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<p>My name is Nia Hill and I am a junior Accounting major, Sociology minor from the west side of Chicago, Illinois at Howard University. The youngest of four, I enjoy traveling, thrifting, and spending time with my loved ones.</p>