I really enjoy reading Lesley Anne Warner’s travel vignettes (a fellow DC-based Africanist blogger), so with that inspiration in mind, I’ll try to increasingly focus on a few personal musings – particularly before the DC think tank scene gears back up for action after Labor day. Yesterday’s post on my time in the Sahel can be seen as the opening salvo in that direction.
For today, I’ll provide a link to my favorite African candy bar. It apparently dates back to 1956. The increasing spread of South Africa’s commercial presence throughout the continent, something that has been very visible to me in the 8 years that I have been traveling to Africa fascinates me, particularly as the first African country I visited was South Africa – a mark that I share with many Americans. I have discussed this briefly in posts on the Central African Republic and Nigeria. On a related note, in my inbox today from Devex is a link to a piece on South Africa’s emergence as a donor of aid.
Leaving the Peace Corps in 2010, I traveled overland from the Sahel to Ghana. It was my second visit and I was in awe of the many changes that had transpired in four years. Particularly notable was the opening of an indoor shopping mall in Accra (complete with a very expensive cinema). It was anchored by the South African grocer Shoprite, and had several other retailers based in South Africa as well. Even at the time of my first visit to Ghana in 2006, South African fast food restaurants such as Nando’s (chicken) and Steers (hamburgers) were operating in Accra. Bread from Baker’s Inn could even be found on a Liberia Refugee camp outside of the city. However, the most pleasing change was that in 2010 (unlike 2006), I was able to find my favorite African candy bar in Accra.