Bilateral Cultural Relations
Cultural relations between Ghana and Germany are rather diverse and well established. They include amongst others cultural exchange and dialogue, cooperation in science and media, support to the bilingual German Swiss International School in Accra, fostering relations to Ghanaian artists and strengthening cultural networks between the two countries. At the moment cultural relations concentrate mainly on sports and here on football – highly attractive to both our football-crazy nations. Germany also actively supports local Ghanaian football teams with equipment donations and regularly invites football coaches to a trainers’ course at the German Football Academy of the German Football Association in Hennef.
Less visible, but widespread and well anchored within the academic society of Ghana and Germany exists a lively exchange between German and Ghanaian Universities and Research Institutions. Many Ghanaian academics spend part of their professional careers in Germany and keep close contact to partners in Germany. Likewise, German scientists, lecturers and students come to do research or internships in Ghana or teach at Ghanaian Universities. At the moment about 700 Ghanaians are studying in Germany. There is a DAAD office (German Academic Exchange Service) in Accra giving advice and information and even a limited amount of scholarships to interested Ghanaian students. Scientific cooperation between Germany and Ghana is taking place in different forms, such as the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) cooperating with Hamburg or a Malaria research project (NORMAP) together with Berlin’s biggest hospital Charité in Tamale.
The Cultural Department of the German Embassy works closely together with the Goethe- Institut, which already exists for fifty years in Accra and provides a wide range of music and art programmes. German political foundations are successfully implementing a number of diverse projects and initiatives of socio-political development cooperation in Ghana, they are the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation and the Hanns-Seidel Foundation.
As the German Swiss International School (former RMS Swiss School) in Accra for more than 40 years has been maintaining a very established school for German and German speaking Expats and Ghanaians alike, the German Government provides support not only by giving financial support but also through deploying two German teachers from Germany.
It is possible to learn German at the Goethe-Institut and at the Ghana Institute of Languages, a opportunity used by 500 to 600 Ghanaians every year.
In the context of the “Cultural Heritage Programme” of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs the German Embassy currently finances a project at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation aimed at safeguarding and digitalising the important music collections of the GBC and another project to translate a book of the missionary Jakob Spieth ("Die Ewe-Stämme") into contemporary Ewe and English. Furthermore, it regularly encourages interreligious dialogue, focussing especially on christian-islamic dialogue through promoting different projects and initiatives, as e.g. an interreligious radio project in Tamale.
However, cultural relations between Ghana and Germany are not confined to arts, sciences or sports. In fact the intention of Germany's foreign cultural policy is to establish a real dialogue not only between our societies but also among Ghanaian and other West African Societies on important philosophical aspects of life as well as new challenges coming up with globalisation and worldwide political and social development.