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Ghana's shame

Let me first express my deep respect for the good work you are doing. Being an avid reader for so many years, New African has become a constant source of information for me and I call myself the proud owner of nearly each copy since 1984.

Through your monthly, my eyes were opened up widely to see the right for reparations. Through you, I see how the Western media are dealing with issues like Zimbabwe, Lumumba and many other cases.

Although I do not agree with each of your opinions (especially on Aids), I want to thank you very much and hope that you will find more and more readers.

Having been travelling to Ghana for the past 20 years, I want to express my deep concern about what I have experienced during my recent visit.

Due to the politics of the free market, the government has reduced nearly all controls at the borders, harbours and airports. Because of this, Ghana has become an important traffic-point for cocaine and heroin. These drugs are now easily available in all bigger towns.

A snuff of cocaine costs C10,000, a smoke of heroin C8,000. The drugs make the consumers addicted in a short time. In order to get the money for it, the young men (especially) commit crimes such as attacks on tourists. This will spoil the just starting tourism-industry.

But what is more: It spoils the lives and sanity of the youth. I myself lost a Ghanaian friend who died of a heart attack after taking cocaine for a two-week period. He had sold all his belongings, he cheated his patents, brothers, sisters and friends in order to get the stuff.

Whilst I was investigating where he got the drugs from, pretending to buy it for myself, I found places in Accra, Gape Coast and Takoradi where I could have gotten it easily.

The dealers even gave me addresses where I could have bought the white powder in abundance. There is, for example, a church in Saltpond which never holds services but generously gives to the community. This church supplies not only traffickers to overseas but to the whole of Ghana.

As a foreigner without a right to interfere in internal affairs, I stopped my investigations after being threatened by a group of young men who forced me to leave the place.

During my search, my eyes were opened up. I saw them all over Ghana: ted-eyed, badly dressed, nervous, slim, aggressive young men with brown teeth. Some of them told me that they had lost friends during the last few months due to the drugs. They all begged me for money although most of them came from middle-class families and spoke English better than I do.

Apart from young girls who sell their bodies to ugly white men, it is this group of men who is in danger.

I want to raise your attention to this very sad issue, and hope that you can do something about it. I am deeply concerned about what I have seen.

And oh, I have just read your interview with President...

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