The news caused ripples on ghanaweb.com, the Ghanaian website that car-
ries information and news on the country for both locals and those abroad.
Ghanaweb posted an item from the New York Times listing Accra as the fourth
most desirable destination out of forty- six places surveyed for 2013.1 Accra
came hard on the heels of Rio de Janeiro (who would dare compete with Rio
anyway?), Marseilles, and Nicaragua, respectively. There were six accompa-
nying pictures to the write- up on the charms of the city, two of which were
taken on Oxford Street. Though brief, the write- up done by Karen Leigh was
quite suggestive:
Accra, the capital of Ghana, has welcomed business travelers for years.
Now tourists are streaming in, a by- product of the fact that the country
has Africa’s fastest- growing economy and is also one of its safest destina-
tions. The Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel (with poolside bar and waiters
on roller skates) opened in 2011, and the Marriott Accra— the chain’s fi rst
sub- Saharan off ering— will feature a casino and upscale shopping when
it opens in the spring. On Accra’s packed beaches, you’ll see everything
from snake handlers to plantain peddlers. Head to the upscale neighbor-
hood of Osu and hit the treehouse- inspired terrace at Buka for fi ne West
African food. The best Ghanaian adventures start with a giant plate of
tomato- smothered tilapia and banku— a fermented yeast paste that’s
tastier than it sounds— washed down with local Star beer.
What this confi rms is something long known to casual observers: Accra
has been a favored destination for students for well over two de cades now.
And over the past ten years almost every major American university has sent
its students on various programs to Ghana; these include Harvard, Michi-
gan, Rutgers, and Colorado, to name just a few. The nine- campus University
INTRODUCTION
Urban Theory and Performative Streetscapes
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