Hello writing!

Phew! This is scary, but I will do it anyway. My name is Freda. Welcome to my blog. I have been wanting to write a blog for a long time, but not had the courage to do so. However, I promised my daughter I would start writing today, so I can’t back down now that I have an audience of one. Actually, that is not so bad – with one reader I can write what I like. So Kelly, here goes!

What am I going to write about? Hmmm, so much to say, so little time. I am interested in the lives of people like me, who live in one country, but have another country in mind and in their daily practices – transnational living. In a sense it is a form of living in two places simultaneously – both ‘here’ in Britain, and ‘there’ in Africa, in particular, Ghana, and vice versa. This way of living has implications for parenting and being parented, earning ‘here’ and spending ‘there,’ taxation and civic life, caring for family in both locations and more.

This topic is important because over 200 million people globally live this way, sending back ‘home’ more than USD 689 billion per annum (in 2018), according to the World Bank. Both Britain and Ghana are net recipients of some of these monies, often referred to as “remittances”. Remittances to Africa, south of the Sahara amounted to USD 46 billion in 2018.

I am also interested in the relationship between people and money, financial justice, Africa and her Diaspora and innovation. Oh, and farming. I am a farmer of maize and livestock.

Through this blog, I hope to address some of these issues in no particular order, drawing on research that I undertook for my PhD thesis in Social Policy, together with work experience in financial services and public policy. It will be great to connect with and learn from people who share these interests and to engage in conversations about changing societies and institutions both ‘here’ and ‘there,’ for the better.

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