Ghana Life: The Legacy of Wee

Hashish is extensively smoked in Ghana the place it’s popularly generally known as ‘wee,’ most likely derived from the English avenue identify ‘weed.’ In accordance with Henry Bernstein, writing within the Assessment of African Political Economic system of March 1999, the consumption and export of hashish in Ghana seems to have expanded considerably because the Nineteen Sixties, and by the Eighties the transit/re-export of cocaine and heroin was additionally effectively established. Venezuela is commonly talked about because the supply of Ghana’s cocaine whereas its transitory heroin comes from the well-known Asian sources, a lot of it collected by merchants from India. Historic hyperlinks with the UK ensures {that a} main a part of Ghana’s re-exports of arduous medication finally ends up on British streets.

Kumasi has many options that make it a probable location for the headquarters of a world medication buying and selling community. Its central market at Kejetia is claimed to be the most important in West Africa and has been a significant hub for West African commerce over a number of centuries. With this custom for buying and selling, its folks have unfold extensively all over the world creating a world community with sturdy ethnic hyperlinks. Kumasi is house to lots of Ghana’s 6,000 folks of Arab ethnicity, recognized domestically as ‘Lebanese,’ though not all hint their roots again to the Lebanon. Many Lebanese are concerned within the import and export commerce, exploiting hyperlinks with Lebanese communities in different international locations. One of many largest expatriate Lebanese communities, mentioned to quantity about 300,000, is present in Venezuela, the supply of many of the cocaine transiting Ghana en path to the UK. It’s not shocking due to this fact to seek out Lebanese names showing in media stories of Ghanaians arrested for medication trafficking.

Along with their experience in buying and selling, the folks of Kumasi possess different abilities of nice profit to medication merchants. Media stories of drug seizures by the authorities usually categorical surprise on the ingenious strategies of concealment utilized in efforts to stop detection. These vary from hole coconuts and balls of kenke (fermented corn dough), via wooden carvings and auto spares to stuffed braziers and elaborate hair kinds. Suame Journal in Kumasi, Ghana’s largest casual industrial space, is the house of 1000’s of grassroots workshops and tens of 1000’s of expert artisans. 1000’s extra expert artisans are employed in villages round Kumasi in conventional crafts corresponding to narrow-loom (Kente) weaving, glass bead making, wooden carving and bronze casting. Little question these abilities are known as upon from time-to-time to implement the most recent schemes of the traffickers.

In a current novel, an Englishman employed in a Lebanese-owned firm in Kumasi brings collectively a gaggle of Ghanaians and Lebanese to site visitors Cannabis South Africa, cocaine and heroin to the UK. When the principal character, Kwame Mainu, travels to Coventry to review engineering at Warwick College, he realises that a number of folks he knew in Kumasi are concerned in a medication cartel. On trip again in Ghana he’s impressed by the massive homes a few of his friends are constructing in Kumasi and he’s tempted to affix them to share their prosperity. On the identical time he’s conscious that this path might jeopardise his probabilities of turning into an engineer and enjoying a key function within the grassroots industrial revolution in Ghana, and it could not be sanctioned by both his spouse or his father. In the middle of attempting to resolve this dilemma, one other alternative presents itself with equally difficult tensions.

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