Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Ghana Godfather of Advertising

Tony picked us up a little late this morning, but timeliness doesn't seem to be a concern here. Our mission today was to meet with the Minister of Food and Agriculture, the Vice-President of Ghana and a man they call "Mr. T", the godfather of Ghana advertising. On the way we drove by the area of Ghana where slaves were shipped to the U.S. The building photo on the left was part of the area referred to as "the point of no return."

We made our arrival at the Department of Food and Agric. (abbreviated differently here) and were informed our meeting was to be with the Deputy Minister, the Honorable Yaw Effah-Baafi. Baafi, the name he greeted us with, is from a farming district of Ghana in the northern region. He was very receptive of our initiative and gave us his blessing, hoping we would utilize some of the ag products from his home area. He told us to contact him if we needed any help

We then headed off to a distant part of town to meet Torgbor Mensah, Mr. "T". Mr. T was very busy and we waited a while to finally greet him and talk. His business is multi-fold. They have the traditional full service agency, a PR firm (In-Focus) and they actually build, erect and own billboards. He is a man of great stature with white hair. It was a very good conversation, as he realized we were in the same profession. We agreed to swap materials in the future. We met his PR staff and conversed with them about helping us with our Ag Expo in 2010. They are currently doing the promotion for the Food and Agric Show this November. Mr. T has offered an office and support for Tony as we develop our initiative. This is exciting for Tony, as a place of business, "a shingle to hang out" and a secretary legitimizes our efforts, as Tony put it.

Next stop was a quick meeting with a lady that produces and stars in a TV show, The Pride of Ghana. Tony is working with her to promote the pineapple business in Ghana and it seems he talked her into interviewing Delore and me. Tony also recieved a phone call to inform uswe would not be meeting with the Vice-President, it seems he was expecting a delegation of four representing the project and when he found out it was just Delore and me, he cancelled.

Delore and I spent time analyzing costs and thinking about business structure. After some questioning around production costs given us, we agreed we need to meet with Moses, the farm operator again before we leave. We will do that tomorrow. For you aggies, the production costs for one acre are estimated at 3500 cedis or approximately 2500 US dollars with fertilizer being the most costly input. Total labor cost on one acre is 2500 cedis or about 1650 dollars. Also tomorrow we meet again with Queen Mother to tell her of our progress since we arrived.

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