Blog Home Shop now! About Media Showcase Links

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Media: Boating Magazine: Boating for Eternity

Boating Magazine: Boating for Eternity
We know boating is your life - obviously - so spend the hereafter in a coffin built to resemble your boat. Morbid? Yes. Better than anything your family will pick out for you? Absolutely.

In the tradition of the Ga people of Ghana, who are buried in a coffin that reflects how they lived, eShopAfrica.com will build you a specially carved coffin for $1,000. Just send the company a picture of your boat and your final resting place will be completed in four to six weeks. If you're the consummate angler, you can choose one of the many fish styles from the eShopAfrica.com's current roster of 22 decorated coffins and chests or send them a picture of your 1,000 pound trophy blue marlin and they will carve to order. Now you can truly sleep with the fishes.

Oct 2003

Order your own Ga chest from the eShopAfrica.com online shop:

Find out more in this book:

Being positive about Africa…

Marymount International School, Rome, Italy
Social Awareness Week, October 2003

How do you see Africa now?

Whenever Africa is on the news it’s almost always something bad… a drought, a famine, genocide, rebel war, corruption… Think back to the last time you heard a good news story from Africa? No wonder the world thinks of Africa as a negative place. But these snapshots are misleading… yes they do happen and are very real to those involved but there is more to the picture.

There are also millions of people struggling against grinding day to day poverty. Their poverty may not be so shocking or new to make it to the news headlines but it’s real enough for them. Feeding a family on less than a dollar a day is not easy. Many children your age will never have had the opportunity to go to school, may never have owned a pair of shoes – let a long a pair of new shoes – and quite likely have spent a lot of their time hungry and ill.

I know what you’re thinking… How can I be positive about all that? It’s not easy… but the first step to being positive is to understand how these situations of chronic poverty arose. They didn’t just happen overnight… they have been in the pipeline for many, many years and what we see are the tragic end results. Whenever you’re looking for answers, history is always a good place to start…

The Real History of Africa

Africa is an incredibly rich continent – and perhaps that has been its downfall. Although most modern Africans are poor the mineral resources beneath their feet are fabulous. All over the continent there are diamonds, gold, silver, bauxite, rutile, copper, oil… all mineral resources greatly valued by our western cultures.

You probably remember studying the kingdom of Ancient Egypt – one of the few pieces of African history that get a mention in school textbooks. However, it’s often treated as though it was an anomaly – a one off happening in an otherwise bare continent. Nothing could be further from the truth… the kingdoms of ancient Egypt were only one of the many ancient splendid kingdoms of Africa.

Beneath Egypt were the ancient kingdoms of Kush at Meroe in present day Sudan. For a while the Kingdom of Kush ruled over the Egyptians to the North. Next door in Ethiopia was the Axum empire – there is one of their stellae here in Rome – which again rivalled the Egyptian and Kushite empires in strength and power. Along the Rift Valley coast of East Africa there are the great Swahili empires who traded across the Indian Ocean connecting Africa with Asia and China since the mists of pre-history. These Swahili kingdoms also traded with Central, West and Southern Africa as well as the Middle East and Europe.

Nowadays the Sahara Desert is thought of as a dry, barren place with no life. Again this is not true – the climate of Africa is cyclical and the Sahara is sometimes desert and sometimes green. It dried out from a green phase just prior to the rise of Ancient Egypt – many historians believe that the founders of the Ancient Egyptian empire were the remnants of the civilisations that had been living in the Sahara as it dried out.

West Africa has its share of great kingdoms too – the Nok culture in present day Nigeria is dated at around 500BC and like another more famous ancient kingdom, the Nok also buried terracotta statues with their dead that showed remarkable creativity and sophistication. They were one of the first cultures on earth to smelt iron.

During the spread of Islam the Sahara also went through a slightly wetter phase which allowed for the proliferation of trade routes from East to West and the North to South. This trade gave rise to many other great kingdoms such as Ancient Ghana (where Mali is today), Kanem Bonu (now in Nigeria), Mali, Songhay and many more.

In 1324 the renowned emperor of the Empire of Mali, Mansa Kankan Musa travelled to Mecca overland. He and his entourage stopped off in Cairo where he gave out gold in such quantities that its price on the open market fell drastically. Twelve years later it was still depressed – this is an early example of the effect of supply and demand on exchange rate mechanisms

When the Portuguese set off from Europe around 1400, they weren’t vaguely hoping to discover something… they knew about the fabulous wealth and power of trade with Africa and wanted a share. They stopped off at various points around the west, southern and eastern coasts to see what trade they could find. This part of history is often misrepresented in European history books – Africans weren’t living in some kind of primitive state before the arrival of the Europeans around the coast. They had been trading with Europe for thousands of years overland. Although there may have been some novelty in the use of the sea route for trade - the actual idea of trade with Europe was nothing new. Nothing more exciting than a new factory outlet.

The Portuguese burned down most of the trading ports along the eastern seaboard of Africa and now only a few remnants remain at places like Lamu in Kenya and Suakin in Sudan. The Swahili traders along the coast lost their traditional supply chains and were forced to deal with Europeans who had other agendas… more of that later.

But these glory days cannot be forgotten… Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia is now known as one of the most lawless places on earth. But Mogadishu was once the home of a powerful trading empire that was so stable that it had its own mint and produced its own currency.

So, as you can see, it’s very easy to be positive about African history. But what’s the connection between these fabulous tales of ancient civilisations and wealth and the depressing pictures we see on the news today?

First slavery

The mass transportation of Africans as slaves across the Atlantic ocean marks one of the darkest moments of European history. It’s hard to comprehend both the cruelty against individuals and the deliberate destruction of societies. Or is it? As you learn about human nature you will find that greed is one of the most powerful forces on earth.

There’s an argument that says that Africans are just as responsible for the trans Atlantic slave trade because without their cooperation it couldn’t have happened. To qualify that you should look at the conditions prevailing at the time and the effect of market forces.

Firstly domestic slavery was equally common in Europe as in Africa at that time. Slaves were purchased for incorporation into households or family run businesses. However, in African societies slaves were integrated into the households and often brought up equally with the children of the household. They often rose to hold high office and even marry into the royal lineage. Customs differed but in Africa a leader was usually judged partly by their wealth and partly by their generosity. A great African leader would be expected to look after his whole tribe – including the slaves who were part of it – and would be personally criticised for cruelty or depravation.

Traditionally slaves came about either as a result of a war where captives were taken or as a result of the paying of a penalty to settle a dispute. However, the Europeans had other ideas. They desired to cultivate huge tracts of land in the Americas that they had newly occupied. Being from Northern Europe they had no idea how to grow the tropical crops they wanted such as cotton and sugar. Africans were experienced tropical cultivators and were very useful to them.

By introducing a culture of violence into Africa in the shape of modern weaponry European traders were able to upset the traditional balance of society and reap the benefit. They would give away or sell for a cheap price guns and bullets to one tribe. The traditional enemies of that tribe would suddenly become very vulnerable as they only had African made weapons such as spears or knives. To survive they too would need to get guns but the Europeans would demand their price… gold… ivory… and worst of all slaves. Through these mechanisms African societies were thrown into chaos… guns and other western style ‘luxury’ goods were used as ways to overturn power structures and bleed Africa dry.

Does this paint a shameful picture of a time gone by? Are things so very different today? It’s greed that makes today’s trading moguls use slave and child labour to bring us those low prices we demand for our consumer goods. It’s quite clear that we’re still living in that same materialistic world that gives greed the upper hand over morals and ethics.

Then colonialism

Eventually the trans-Atlantic slave trade was abolished – but note that it was abolished by the same people who had started it. But the Europeans now had a problem… they still desired all that fabulous wealth in Africa - gold, diamonds, copper…. Many historians feel that this is the point where modern day racism was ‘invented’. Prior to this point, despite the horrors of the trans Atlantic slave trade, ordinary people felt no racial divide and in European societies Africans were seen as no different than anyone else. The port cities of England had high populations of Africans who lived amongst the other people – there was no concept of racial ghettos.

But the Europeans needed a reason to get their hands on the riches of Africa and so invented the theory that Africans were somehow backward and needed ‘civilising’. It was at this point that the ancient kingdoms of Kush, Axum, Nok, and others were put in the shredder and the ‘clean slate’ version of African history began. This is the history that I was taught at school and it is still held as common knowledge today. Sadly it’s still taught in schools in Africa to Africans – that there was nothing much in Africa until the Europeans arrived.

Between them the European nations decided who was going to ‘civilise’ which parts of Africa and then occupied the areas they had chosen. They put some icing on the cake – they built a few schools and hospitals in the places where they chose to put large towns or capitals. They built roads and railways to help them get the minerals they desired to the ports that they built for themselves. This was about the sum total of their ‘civilising’.

And then independence

At last… something good to report. Independence!!! While it is a big, big improvement on both slavery and colonialism, in fact it was more of a continuation of colonialism than a true independence. “Nation states” were created out of the regional agreements between the Europeans. Africans had no say in the new borders and those who understood Africa warned against the peril of the nation state borders. They were not listened to.

Thus, many of the wars that you see today were given birth to at independence. The “Anglo-Egyptian Condominium of Sudan”, as it was known during colonialism, was turned into one country called “The Sudan”. The make up of this newly formed country was a recipe for disaster – a Moslem north where the capital and seat of government was located and a traditional, pastoralist African south. Neither culture had anything in common with each other but suddenly found themselves one nation. Naturally it was an unliveable situation and soon a civil war started that continues until today. An already delicate balance was further upset by the subsequent discovery of oil in the southern part of the country so now greed has become a factor in what was already a war of identity.

The Tutsis and Hutus are now world famous for genocide but it didn’t come out of nowhere. Due to the complex relationship between land use and seasons in Africa it’s not uncommon for one piece of land to have different owners at different times of the year. For centuries the Hutus and Tutsis cohabited the plains between what is now Rwanda and Burundi. Like all neighbours, they had disagreements but had sophisticated power balance agreements that coped with them. Then a western style international border was drawn right through those plains and the centuries of multiple land use was abruptly halted. Both sides were sold sophisticated arms that replaced their spears and knives. The violence of the genocide can easily be traced back to the frustrations of trying to live with unliveable borders.

Much of the poverty in the rural areas of Africa can be explained by the design of the new nation states. Most of Africa is rural – remote areas where there is no infrastructure. Europeans didn’t like those places – they liked to be near the ports and any centres of trade that already existed. Quite understandably the Europeans placed the capital cities – and with it the seats of government and ministries – where they wanted them to be. They gave the best jobs to the tribes and inhabitants who lived near to their chosen capitals. These favoured Africans were the ones who were given the reigns of power at independence and it’s these structures that are still in place today.

But are they democratic? No way – nor were they ever supposed to be. They were, once again, designed by Europeans to keep ‘their’ African countries loyal to them. Those who were loyal to the Europeans received favours – contracts, bribes, kickbacks… there are many forms some legitimate, some not. Naturally these people who have been cooperating with the Europeans have themselves made a lot of money… market forces again. But the fact remains that until now the majority of rural Africans have no meaningful voice in the nation state power structures.

Post independence greed for African wealth expressed itself in other ways. The super powers, as they were then known, used Africa as a stage to fight out their differences and sell massive amounts of modern weaponry. In a repeat of the arming of African peoples during slavery, the superpowers poured arms into Africa. Countries were labelled pro or anti communist according to how much they spent on arms – not on how well off their people were. The arms dealers are still peddling their wares in Africa as much as ever – if there ever was a vehicle of mass destruction it’s the arms trade to Africa.

Ignorance is the enemy…

Africa’s biggest problem is that nobody understands it. Make sure you’re not part of that problem. As you can see from what I’ve said Africa’s history has been written by outsiders in such a way as to paint it black. Do you own research and you’ll find a completely different story. The next time you see one of those depressing pictures resolve to get to the bottom of how it came about. And who knows… when you understand you may find yourself in a position to make some changes for the better. But staying ignorant will keep the situation as it is.

If you get a chance visit Africa or, even better, live there for a while. You will see what you can’t see in those depressing pictures. You will find people who are full of energy, life, creativity and optimism – despite circumstances that we would find overwhelmingly depressing. Their day-to-day struggle – fetching water, walking 20 kilometres to school, eating only once a day – would be too much for us. But they have an inner joy that we have lost. Although, like us, they also want material goods, they place their value in other things such as family, tradition and companionship. In their own eyes they aren’t poor – they’re only poor in money but not in life.

And we have much to learn from African societies… For example, in African societies there are none of the traumas of adolescents and teenagers. As you grow you are given responsibilities that match your stage in life – the systems differ widely across the continent but the message is clear to all. We all have a place in our family structure and we all have duties and responsibilities to each other. The reward we get will be their support and companionship in a hostile world.

Many western societies are searching for something that is now being called ‘family values’ that we have lost. Africans weren’t so careless – despite their hardship and suffering their family ties are as strong as ever. Without their family, Africans would feel themselves truly poor.

Recommended Reading

Any or all books by the noted historian Basil Davidson in particular the following:

Africa in History

African Civilization Revisited

African Genius

The Interesting Narrative by Olaudah Equiano

This is the first hand experience of a young boy who was captured at the height of the slave trade. He regained his freedom, got an education and eventually settled in England.

The Scramble for Africa

Find out how the borders of modern Africa came about – and how Africans had nothing to do with them!

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Finalist in the SMME Awards

eShopAfrica.com was chosen as a finalist in the Information and Technology sector of the 2003 SMME Awards organised by the Africa Centre for Investment Analysis in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa. The competition is designed to showcase the best of African small and medium sized business entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Feedback: Website: Rosie Shearburn, Former Accra Resident

Your website is fabulous - well done! I shall be ordering from you in time and I shall pass your details on to friends.

Feedback: Ga Coffins: US Customer

A customer in the US ordered a peacock shaped decorated chest. On arrival the peacock, who has been given a Ga name, and was covered in the local newspaper. See the photos in the Gallery

Friday, May 23, 2003

eCommerce in Africa - Making it Happen

By Cordelia Salter, Founder of eShopAfrica.com

This talk was given as part of the AITEC West Africa Conference at the Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana, May 2003.


Since the days of the Internet boom we've been hearing that ecommerce is going to change the way Africa does business. The details of this transformation always remained somewhat fuzzy so it's time to take a look at the nuts and bolts of ecommerce in Africa and to evaluate how its doing so far. As it stands the ecommerce in Africa is worth about $31 million – with $30 million of this coming from South Africa.

Apart from my own experiences running an African ecommerce website eShopAfrica.com and covering ecommerce issues for Balancing Act News Update a newsletter covering technology issues in Africa, I will also be referring to a recent report called “The Reality of Ecommerce in Developing Countries” by The London School of Economics and the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex. This report studied the impact of emarketplaces in the horticultural and garments sectors in Kenya, South Africa and Bangladesh but I believe their findings are applicable across the ecommerce in Africa field.

The ecommerce components

Ecommerce is not a single commodity. It is made up of various unconnected components and, in theory, if you can juggle all these components you can make your business happen on the Internet. But each of the components has its own peculiarities and idiosyncrasies especially when interfacing with Africa.


Two years ago I was also speaking on ecommerce issues here at AITEC but then the burning issue was software and connectivity. In fact my talk was based on a software suitable for use under the connectivity conditions at the time. We've come long way since then.... The capitals of Africa all now have more than adequate connectivity and there is no shortage of capable IT companies able to provide the software and hosting required. So you can say that the 'e' in ecommerce is in good shape. The entry level costs do remain high for African businesses both in terms of computer equipment and, even harder, in trained and capable staff. There's no point spending your time and resources on an expensive web presence if there aren't the real people behind it able to follow through and make it happen.

Taking payments:

If you're entering the ecommerce arena some kind of payment has to take place. If you're merely migrating existing business to the internet then you will most likely continue on with your old payment mechanisms that you have been using offline. If however your business is going to rely on taking payments over the internet then you have some thinking to do.

For the ecommerce amateur there are a variety of solutions such as PayPal or NoChex who allow for 'members' of the service to take and receive payments between each other. They work globally and are popular for small payment between individuals. PayPal is particularly popular because of its association with eBay.

For serious ecommerce these payment solutions are not quite up to it. Both parties must be 'members' and your customer may not be willing to go to the trouble of opening a PayPal account just to make a payment to you. It's more likely they'd look for another site that takes credit cards.

Taking credit cards... becoming a 'merchant' - the holy grail of all ecommerce sites. Without the ability to accept major credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard you are unable to use the most popular method of payment over the internet. If your business operates in Europe or America and has places of business and bank accounts there, then getting merchant status is not difficult – there is no shortage of payment service providers – such as WorldPay, Nexus, Datacash - the people who interface between you and the major credit card companies.

However if your business and bank accounts are based in sub-Saharan Africa then you face a virtually closed door. Prior to 9/11 there were loopholes. When eShopAfrica started trading on the Internet in 2000 we took advantage of one of these loopholes – the payment service provider didn't really mind where the business was as long as it was 'on the Internet' and had a trading address somewhere – in our case in Accra. However new post 9/11 legislation means that the payment service providers must implement a scheme called 'Know your Customer'. Under this scheme they must be able to visit the trading address of the company – which must be in the UK.

There is a South African route which requires a business presence and bank account there – it's circuitous but an option but the bottom line is that taking credit cards is a big barrier to trade. If you can't take credit cards you have to rely on old world payment mechanisms such as bank transfers and cheques by mail or courier.


The Internet is a crowded place and is getting more and more crowded by the minute. Before you start your ecommerce business you must put a lot of time and thought into how you're going to market it. Mailing lists have less and less value as people get more and more flooded with spam. You may be lucky and get responses to emails but don't be surprised if no-one answers. Everyone's just too busy. Emailing people that you already know or already have some connection with may be more successful. You can also check out the news groups and user communities for your subject area - you're much more likely to get an answer from someone already in your field than from complete strangers.

You can register your site with search engines and make sure your keywords are meaningful. If you want a higher listing you can pay for a sponsored link which makes your website come up before the search results. These services cost – on Google the more popular a keyword is the more you pay. You have to think hard whether your target market is on the Internet – not somewhere else – and that this will be effective for you. Check to see where your rival sites list.

Part of the expectations of ecommerce was that producers were going to be able to trade directly with customers cutting out all the middle men and liberating huge amounts of money. So far things haven't quite turned out like that. One of the first things we have to do is to define what we mean by 'middle men'. Although they are often touted as exploiters, in fact 'middle-men' also offer valuable services such as ensuring quality or expediting sales in other locations. They are 'middle men' but they are also valuable links in the chain. We also have to face the fact that there are 'middle men' who do exploit – and who block business happening until they get their share. They're not going to give up just because of new technology so, ecommerce or not, they have to be factored into the supply chains.

There are many trade portals and emarketplaces that act as listing services for businesses. Some are global, some are by region, some are by theme. Most only require online registration but offer no guarantee or verification between members. In other words, they want no responsibility for the people who list with them. In the recent report 'The Reality of Ecommerce in Developing Countries' it was found that the number of orders that come through emarketplaces is relatively small – certainly not the ecommerce revolution we were expecting. There are closed or private market places. Some require payment, some require real world back up such as a visit to business premises. EshopAfrica is listed in many of these free emarketplaces – we get the odd query but nothing that has led to a sale yet. Most of all we get emails from Asian suppliers of fake African products trying to sell to us!

At this point you start asking yourself that, apart from Amazon, where is there an ecommerce success story? There aren't really any for Africa yet but one particular development in the western markets is a bit alarming – particularly for supplier countries. Big companies who are normally rivals – such as the US car companies – are collaborating on their procurement by joining together and creating closed market place to which they invite suppliers. This is driving supplier prices even further down and because of the competitive nature of the bidding process many suppliers find themselves agreeing to unprofitable contracts – they are so desperate to get the sale. This is sobering... we all know the days of internet philanthropy are over – there just isn't the money around anymore. But we should all be watching to make sure that the Internet doesn't also become a tool of exploitation.

Shipping and trade barriers:

If you're lucky enough to be selling an electronic product then you can just click and your delivery is done. If not... you have a whole new ball game to contend with. For small products there are a choice of couriers – unfortunately they're expensive, especially in relationship to African economies. It is not uncommon for the shipping for an eShopAfrica order to cost more than the products and we lose orders because of it. There are also the options of air freight and sea freight but all of us who have had experience with these sectors know that they are not exactly 'click and go'. They are labour intensive and very costly timewise – and there are a lot of 'middle men'! All these things have to be factored into the price of your product.

One of the boom time dreams was that a farmer in a rural areas would be able to log on and sell their produce at the best global price they could find, leapfrogging all the mean middle men who had been repressing them for years. If an enlightened cocoa farmer in northern Ghana logged on today and sold his crop of cocoa beans on eBay to a fair trade store in the US, he'd be in for a big surprise. For starters cocoa is – still - protected by all kinds of trade agreements and soon the farmer would find his way blocked by bureaucracy. Even if he managed to start the export process he'd have to take care of quality inspection issues and export and shipping which would, undoubtedly wipe out any possible profit he could have made on his direct sale. Even if the beans made it to the US the purchaser would be in for a few surprises from the US agriculture department... but that's their problem!

This is the essence of another finding in the London School of Economics report. It was visualised that the tidal wave of technology would be so strong that it would sweep away all evil old world mechanisms. We have all now come to realise that the power of technology is nowhere near strong enough to tackle such dinosaurs as the current world trade agreements and the African banking system.

Summary and forecast

So to summarise I would say that the 'e' in ecommerce is doing very well indeed. Technology has proved itself up to the job and is waiting in the wings for a role. The 'commerce' part of ecommerce is not in such good shape. As we have seen there are many disincentives to ecommerce if you are an African business – the entry level costs are high both in terms of computer equipment and staff. Added to that the global world trade playing field is not level.

The Internet does offer huge opportunities for new contacts and new opportunities. Because the bright lights of the Internet boom came from the West, everyone looks in that direction. In doing this I think they're missing an opportunity. For the first time ever Africans in every capital of the continent can get in touch with each other quickly, easily, affordably. This is unprecedented and offers huge new opportunities. They say nature abhors a vacuum but at the moment there is a huge vacuum where their could be inter-African trade.

This is historic – until the Internet communication in Africa was a roundabout affair with telephone calls between Ghana and Togo going via Paris and air travelers having to fly via Europe to get to their African destination. Now with easy communication new links can be forged between Africans all over the continent who can explore the new opportunities that this contact will bring.

There are also other players coming on to the field. The Asian tigers of China and India are gradually creeping in and I think it's safe to say that the west won't always be the dominant culture on the Internet – so look around for new opportunities.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Feedback: Website: Justice Dedoo, Ghana

This is just to say thank you for all you are doing for Africa. I listened for the first time to you on Choice FM (radio) and decided to visit your web-site and I think you are doing a great job. You are indeed "keeping traditional African skills alive". Keep it up and more grease to your elbows!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Feedback: Website: David Shannon, US

I am so impressed and inspired by the "eShopAfrica.com" mission. I would like to offer my help in anyway, now or in the future to help achieve your goals.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Media: BBC Top Gear Magazine: Box-ters

BBC Top Gear Magazine: Box-sters

A few A few years ago, we featured the carpenters in Accra who create bespoke conveyances for that final journey. The lion used to be the most respected coffin, but the symbol of choice is now... 

Mar 03

Friday, February 28, 2003

Media: BBC: African crafts go online

This article about eShopAfrica.com was published on the BBC website:


Order your own Ga chest from the eShopAfrica.com online shop:

Find out more in this book:

Feedback: Website: Milton Chikere Ezeh, UK

I read about your site on the BBC web site, and I am writing to congratulate you on a great effort and also wish you well in your operations. Thank you.

Feedback: Website: Brian Kuzdas, South Africa

I'm very happy I have found your web site. I see that eshopAfrica sells a number of high quality items made in the traditional fashion. I'm happy to see this. Thank you so much.

Feedback: Website: John Arnold, Finland

I read about your website in the BBC site. Great idea, I wish you good luck and God's blessing. Regards.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Feedback: Website: Farah Eshetu, US

I just read an article about eshopafrica and I just wanted to let you know that it makes me so very happy to see someone doing the right thing! I live in Los Angeles, Ca and I am going to email the link to all my friends and colleagues! You have an advertiser on your side here! Thanks for the inspiration

Feedback: Website: Uche Onyema

Congratulations! I would like to say well done for starting this project. Africa needs all the help we can give. Well done!

Feedback: Website: Aleta Armstrong, Finland

    Great idea! I just read the article on your idea and saw the site...it looks wonderful!

Feedback: Website: Per Thomson, Denmark

Great to finally see the www being used to the benefit of those unfortunate.

Feedback: Website: John Grierson

Great site. I especially liked the red pepper chest (simple, unique, compact, dramatic).

Feedback: Website: Tim Crilly

Congratulations on the web site. It may not be as flashy as some sites in the west but it is easy to browse and informative.

Feedback: Website: James Nickson, US

   Regarding your effort to get crafts to people without middlemen, WELL DONE!

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Feedback: Textiles: Vanessa & Francesco, Edinburgh, UK

Many thanks - we received the mudcloths this morning and we like them very much! We will definitely buy some for our shop as well!

Friday, February 21, 2003

Feedback: Website: Christine Compton, UK

Just wanted so say good luck!  I have just read about you on the BBC News website and I just wanted to say I applaud what you are doing and wish you all the luck in the world, now and in the future. There IS hope for a better world, and people like you bring it closer, quicker.

Feedback: Website: Gerry Kilby, Ireland

Love the site and love what you are trying to do. 

Feedback: Website: Harriet D Peters, UK

I am a West African living abroad and I read about this eshop on BBC online news. I have looked at the site and I must say thumbs up. May God continue to bless you all as you strive to make things better for the poor Africans.

Feedback: Website: Patricia Thomas

I plan to email everyone I know about your web site. What a great resource!

Feedback: Website: Kwesi Folson, US

I wish to commend you on your effort after reading the piece on BBC. This is practical and has meaningful targets.

Monday, February 3, 2003

Media: BBC: African crafts go online

Traditional African craftsmen are starting to sell their wares to collectors on the other side of the globe, thanks to...

Monday, January 13, 2003

Feedback: Musical Instruments: Myron & Natalie Jackson, Florida, US

I'm immensely satisfied with my order. I find everything to be of superior quality. I've explored your web page and I think the concept is wonderful. I hope to do repeat business as well. Honestly I've been apprehensive about doing business with some parts of Africa because of past episodes of problems. Your web page offers a number of safeguards and I found staff very accommodating as well. We have a dance company here in Tampa and we have performed Ghanaian dance for the last 25 years. Our mentor was Nana C.K. Ganyo who passed away last year in Arizona but was buried there. We're so delighted to have such high quality instruments, he would be very proud. Thank all of you for your time, cooperation and integrity.