AfTA logo    AFRICAN THEATRE ASSOCIATION

2014 Conference Travel Information


African Theatre and Performance and the Academy

2014 AfTA Annual International Conference

School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
 9-12 July 2014

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND VISA INFORMATION FOR GHANA
A valid passport and an entry visa are required to enter Ghana. Visas must be obtained prior to arrival and are required by all except nationals of ECOWAS, Kenya and Singapore.  Visas can be obtained and extended in Ghana, especially for those who wish to stay beyond the conference period. 
Note: You may be refused entry on a passport that is due to expire within six months of your departure date. If you are applying for a visa at the Ghana diplomatic mission in your place of residence, you may quote the following names as references:
  1. Mr. Aristedes Hargoe, Assistant Lecturer, Dance Studies Department, P. 0. BOX LG 19 Accra, Ghana. Tel. +233 –024-678-3403. 
  2. Mr. Frank Laing, Assistant Lecturer, Music Department, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG 19, Legon, Accra. Tel.   +233 – 244-980-798.
  3. Mrs. Bernardine Bediako-Poku, Assistant Registrar, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG 19, Legon, Accra. Tel: +233- 245-688-484.

For countries without Ghana High Commissions and Embassies, the Conference Event Manager will apply for a visa on arrival on your behalf.  The single entry visa fee is U$150, to be paid at the point of entry to the Ghana Immigration Service on arrival and it will be receipted. Visa on arrival applicants will need the approval letter from the Ghana Immigration Service before they can travel and it takes time for this to be issued. It is therefore requested that the required information should be sent latest by March 30th 2014 for it to be sent to the Ghana Immigration Service for processing to begin.

Participants who wish for entry visas to be applied on their behalf should provide a copy of their scanned passport biodata page and the page which has the passport picture. (That is, if the picture is not on the biodata page). This should be sent to the Conference Event Managers by email to and  

The following information will be necessary and this should be emailed:

FULL NAME (MARK SURNAME AS BOLD):

DATE OF BIRTH:
PLACE OF BIRTH:
NATIONALITY:
PASSPORT NUMBER:
DATE PASSPORT ISSUED:
EXPIRY DATE OF PASSPORT:
DATE AND TIME OF ARRIVAL:
AIRLINE AND FLIGHT NUMBER:

DATE AND TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM GHANA:
AIRLINE AND FLIGHT NUMBER:



ARRIVALS

The arrival terminal at Kotoka International Airport is small/cozy.  Before completing Immigration formalities, you will need to complete a card.  The cards are on counters on the right-hand side just before the Immigration officer's booths.  For the section requesting your address in Ghana, you can write the name of your Hotel/Guest House.  

AIRPORT MEET AND TRANSFER

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel or Guest House if you would like us to.  The recommended 4 and 3 Star Hotels provide courtesy bus services from and to the Airport.

If you have to go to your Hotel by yourself, we will recommend that you use an airport official taxi to the hotel. They can be found parked at the street next to the meeting area. They could cost you anything between GH¢25 – GH¢30 (about US$15 – US$20)

Please note that the University of Ghana is approximately 15 minutes drive from the Kotoka International Airport though it could take longer during rush hour.

PLEASE SEND YOUR ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE (RETURN) FLIGHT DETAILS BY EMAIL TO SAMUEL BENAGR by EMAIL: ; copied to  



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR THE GENERAL USE OF 2014 AFRICAN THEATRE ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS

WEATHER

Ghana’s low latitude and proximity to the equator give it a typically tropical climate.  Temperatures approach or exceed 30 degrees (80 Fahrenheit) most days of the year, with virtually no seasonal variation. July falls within the rainy season and tends to be fairly cool.  

COMMUNICATIONS

English is the lingua franca. Five reliable telecommunications networks are available in Ghana (two fixed and four mobile). The Ghana country code is +233. 

CURRENCY

The official currency is the Ghana Cedi (GHS) (Cedi pronounced See Dee). 

Currency rates vary according to time. It is recommended that you change currency at an established foreign exchange bureau.  Foreign Exchange Bureaus are located at the various points throughout the city of Accra. There is one such bureau at the Accra Mall about 12 minutes drive from the University of Ghana

You may also exchange money at any of the four banks on Campus or at the Ghana Commercial Bank just outside the campus Main Gate. Note that banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays; Exchange Bureaus are opened on Saturdays.

*Kindly note that it is advisable to bring US Dollars, British Pounds or Euro. You may find it difficult if not impossible to change other currencies.

Note that Credit cards are not widely used in Ghana, although some of the recommended conference hotels accept credit card payments with a surcharge. Accra.  Traveler’s cheques are not welcome in many places of business.  You can, however, use your Visa or Master Card at ATMs at many of the banks and get Cedis.  

TRANSPORTATION

The conference venue is within 20 minutes' drive from the recommended accommodation units. In principle, the conference Secretariat will provide shuttle buses to convey registered participants – entitled to such pickups from the recommended accommodation units to the conference venues and back. The buses will also convey participants to the various conference special events and back. The bus schedule will be communicated.

Should you miss the official buses shuttle, note that taxis can be hailed from the street, or you may ask your hotel/Lodge to assist in getting one. 

University of Ghana is a mini-town in itself. From your lodging venue, you can simply walk to a street and flag a taxi, which can take you anywhere within the very campus. You may elect this option to arrive daily at the conference venue. Also note that, just some 40 meters from the conference venue is the university main gate, where taxis are parked most of the day looking for passengers. You can readily take any of these to your hotel or to town any time.

Taxis are not metered and the fare is subject to bargaining.  The fare is determined for the distance, regardless of the number of passengers.

The district of Accra where the university is located is called Legon, also synonymous with the university’s name. Thus, going to ‘Legon’ can mean going to the university or to that general district.

To go downtown from Legon, intra-city buses called “tro-tro” or local mini-buses as well as taxis are widely available both within the campus and at the main gate of the university.

SAFETY

Ghanaians pride themselves on being some of the friendliest people in the world, and the level of crime against visitors/tourists is remarkably low. However, like any other country or metropolitan city, normal precautions are still advisable. The University of Ghana has a 24 hour Campus Security service and there is a Police Station right across the main road outside the main university campus.

DINING

All the recommended conference accommodation units have their own restaurants. They provide breakfast inclusive in the room rate.

Lunch will be provided at the conference venue during the congress days and the cost is included in the conference registration fee. Participants will also be given coupons for lunch. There is a conference banquet which will cost an additional $15:00 per participant.   

There are also a variety of restaurants and other eating places at the University of Ghana and its environs.

SHOPPING

The Accra Shopping Mall (3 miles from the University of Ghana campus) near the Tetteh Quarshie interchange is the easiest and most accessible shopping venue.  You can get local souvenirs and clothing at “Oxford Street” at Osu (including at Woodin, a specialty African print fabric shop). “Oxford Street” is noted for grocery shops, fast-food joints and brisk night life. There are also a number of shops around the East Legon area. 

For those who have the time, a visit to the Makola market (a bustle-hustle must-see) in the Central Business District would be of interest.  This is the best place to get "Java print" fabric.  The Arts Centre nearby (a conglomerate of shops – local clothing, jewelry, arts & crafts) is also a popular stop for souvenirs.  Friendly bargaining is a must! 

 


A FEW PLACES OF INTEREST

University of Ghana Great Hall and surroundings

W.E.B. Du Bois Centre for Pan African Culture in Cantoments, M-F 9:00-4:30 (0302 -776-502)

George Padmore Library, Ridge Circle, M-F, 8:30-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00 (0302 - 247-768, 228-402)

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

Independence Square

Makola Market (downtown)

Beaches, e.g. Labadi Beach, Coco Beach

Aburi Botanical Gardens (a 30 minute taxi drive from the University of Ghana, Legon)

HEALTH CONCERNS

Take the usual precautions when travelling. 

Hotel rooms are usually sprayed against mosquitoes;

Some of the nearby pharmacies are: Pfago Pharmacy (Legon Hall Annex B) and Pills & Tabs (next to the Shell Station near the Main Gate)

Participants are advised to obtain supplementary medical/travel insurance. However, excellent public and private medical facilities in Ghana provide for essential medical needs. First aid services will be available at the conference venue and in most of the hotels.

It is advisable that conference participants avoid eating food purchased from street vendors; if you must, ensure the food is warm. Secondly do not drink tap water, nor water from sachets. Drink bottled water

If you need a doctor, the University Hospital is located right across from the main gate to the campus. Also recommended are two private clinics in Accra:

A) Lister Hospital, a modern facility on Spintex Road, about 5 miles from the University of Ghana, Legon;

B) Nyaho Medical Centre located in the Airport Residential Area, also about 5 miles from Legon.

Also recommended is a public, military hospital called ‘37’, located in Accra about 8 miles from University of Ghana, Legon.

Time Zone: GMT

Electricity: Electricity is 220V AC at 50 cycles.  Stabilizers are required for sensitive devices, and adapters are required for appliances using 110V.

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