"The Birthplace of Cool" - Bono on Ghana

I had totally missed that U2 singer, cum activist Bono wrote a column on Ghana and Africa in the New York Times just before Obama's visit.

After reading the article I think to myself that something about Bono's efforts is somehow so...arrogant and at the same time wonderfully naive. It talks about important things like the G8 meeting and how Africa is the birthplace of humanity. I guess it can't be summarized, but here is a sneak peak to show you what I mean:
On a visit there (Ghana in May 2006), I met the minister for tourism and pitched the idea of marketing the country as the “birthplace of cool.” Just think, the music of Miles, the conversation of Kofi. He demurred ... too cool, I guess.
Haha, pitched (haha, that word alone!) a marketing idea to a Minister of Tourism after having spent a few days in a country, how arrogant is not that?...but on the other hand, if now Bono says Ghana is cool, then why not take his word for it?! I guess we thought about marketing our chocolate, our gold, but we never really thought of marketing our ability to be cool.

And now three year after Bono's visit, does Ghana even have a tourism marketing strategy?

The column can be found here.

Pic: Bono in Ghana 2006 borrowed from U2station.com


Maya Mame said...

Not sure I've made my mind up about Bono yet, the expression "han menar väl/he means well" comes to mind.

Did you purposely write this on the day U2's playing at Bästkusten (specifically the Heart of Scandinavia, he he) or is it just a lucky coincidence?

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Hi Maya Maame,
I too cannot decide what to think, I read of how little of the proceeds of his initiative (red) that actually goes to aids victims projects...at the same time, if an artist talks about poverty and Aids, is not that doing at least something...awareness etc.

The timing is a lucky coincidence!

Esi W. Cleland said...

I think we should be doing more to brand Ghana. But i guess marketing by itself is not enough. For Ghana to become known as the birthplace of cool, it has to truly be the birthplace of cool. Not sure if we're there yet. But maybe if we start saying we're cool, it will motivate us to do cool things? Maybe a good idea is a good idea regardless of its source- bono or Ghanaians. Is Ghana cool? If so, maybe we should market it as such.

One Fly said...

I expected Nkrumah's daughter to be older but these two peoples daddy'e were major players for sure. Wonder whats on their minds when it comes to politics?

bengy said...

i think its very interesting the things u write.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Thanks Bengy! I find it interesting how so many different people find their way to my blog. Hope to have you back soon.

globeguy said...

I think cool could make for an interesting ad campaign or travel article, but it doesn't describe Ghana. I see Ghana as the paramount communal society. Everyone (almost) treats each other as a brother, and with respect. Community would be a great brand concept, and even possibly encourage the national government to spend more time developing the nation than their own pockets.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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